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Re: [Groff] fractional point sizes with -ms

From: Jon Snader
Subject: Re: [Groff] fractional point sizes with -ms
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2004 11:41:48 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

On Wed, Jan 07, 2004 at 03:58:06PM -0000, Ted Harding wrote:
> 2. I'm less happy about PS>300 being unlikely. I agree that, for
>    instance, a ".LP" paragraph on A4 paper in PS>300 is not a
>    feasible idea (you would only get 3-4 letters per line, and
>    only 2 lines per page) -- but what about, for instance, someone
>    who is preparing a PostScript/PDF file to be printed on say
>    A1-size for a conference Poster Session? A1 has 2.828 times the
>    linear dimensions of A4, so a 300-point font on A1 is equivalent to
>    106-point on A4, i.e. a 1.47-inch "em" -- not at all unreasonable
>    if you want something to really shout at people.
>    Nevertheless, it's a somewhat extreme combination of circumstances,
>    and many users will probably never encounter it.

Even if they did, all that's necessary is to set PS to 30000.  True
you lose the transparency, but I doubt it will break any existing
>    iii) Groff should not be so dependent on integer arithmetic!
> Regarding (iii), the integer limitation is directly traceable to
> programming issues linked to hardware resources of the time (and the
> document CSTR 97 "A Typsetter-independent TROFF" gives interesting
> insights). Undoubtedly, one of these days, troff will use floating
> point almost everywhere (as I believe TeX does) [though I believe
> there has not yet been a call for fractional page numbers]. But
> this would mean a complete re-coding of practically everything,
> and the result would be a quite different program in which the
> "compatibility" issue would have become a fossil.

Are you sure about TeX?  It's been a while, but as I recall it
uses 32-bit integers internally to track such things.  This is
preferable to floating point because it avoids the usual round-
off problems that one encounters with floating point.


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