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RE: [Groff] bug?

From: Ted Harding
Subject: RE: [Groff] bug?
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 02:33:16 +0100 (BST)

On 16-Oct-99 Werner LEMBERG wrote:
> Please look at the following man page, section `FILES'.  The word
> `character' is unnecessarily hyphenated, and I wonder whether this is
> a bug or not.

The effect is nasty. However, I think there are two issues here.

The source lines in the FILES section are

.TP 8
/usr/local/share/tibet/tibet.hlp -- Online help file.
/usr/local/share/tibet/\fICHARSET\fP.txt -- Sample text for the character
set \fICHARSET\fP.  >>>[all one line]<<<
\fIbdffile\ -- A working directory created automatically.

The first issue is that the .TP macro is intended to provide an
indented paragraph (indented relative to the main text which is already
indented relative to the text of the section headers), with a hanging
tag (indented relative to the section header text and therefore lining
up with the main text); and the hanging tag is given on the first line
following the .TP call. The remainder of the indented paragraph is given
on the lines following this first line.

I don't think this is what you would want for the file name lines above,
and if you replace the above (deleting the "--"s) with

.TP 8
Online help file.
Sample text for the character set \fICHARSET\fP.
A working directory created automatically.

it will come out OK. Or you could replace the ".TP 8" and the ".TP"s
with ".PP" in the original, and it will still come out acceptably
(but with the "--"s).

The second issue is that the hyphenation observed comes out all wrong
in the original form. This is undoubtedly a consequence of the fact that,
since the ling line containing "character" is, as a tag for the indented
paragraph, too long to fit on one line.

However, in this case I do think it should be considered a bug that when
the long tag breaks across lines the hyphenation goes wrong. On the other
hand, I don't think that tags were ever envisaged to be that long; but
why not after all? The conclusion has to be that (or tmac.andoc)
doesn't handle long tags properly. I suspect that the fact that it is
a tag is confusing the computation of the breakpoint: it looks as
though the hyphenation point is being placed 8 characters to the right of
where it ought to be (i.e. the normal text indent is not being counted).

You get the same bug if you use ".IP" with a very long tag (you have to
start it with a " quote of course) in man macros.

On the other hand, you do not get this bug if you use ".IP" in the same
way (very long tag) with the ms macros.


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Date: 17-Oct-99                                       Time: 02:33:16
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