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Re: [Groff] groff and layout stability

From: Alejandro López-Valencia
Subject: Re: [Groff] groff and layout stability
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 10:34:41 -0500

On 4/26/05, Werner LEMBERG <address@hidden> wrote:
> On comp.tex.latex there was some discussion w.r.t. document layout
> stability and hyphenation patterns:
>   Subject: Consistency of US hyphenation patterns across distributions
>   References: <address@hidden>
> Up to today, noone has ever mentioned a similar problem here, and I
> must admit that I've never thought about it.
> The current state of groff is simple: It does *not* assure layout
> stability, this is, it is quite possible that documents look different
> if processed with different groff versions.  I don't think this is a
> serious problem because you can always use an older groff release in
> case this stability is important to you.

Well, David Kastrup (the AucTeX maintainer) gave this answer in the
same thread (msg-id: <address@hidden>):

---start quote
It is not a problem.  LaTeX, in contrast to plain TeX, has no "frozen"
policy.  Document compilations are not guaranteed to stay the same
across installations and across time.  In particular hyphenation
patterns are revised and augmented.  Also, an installation is free to
change the default hyphenation patterns from US English (though this
is really not advisable: where necessary, you can make British
patterns available separately).

Some stability is preserved: for example, the layout of the standard
document classes is not changed in LaTeX2e, neither is the float
placement algorithm, though both clearly leave things to be desired.
---end quote

And a inflamatory response by the OP was anwsered in similar terms by
Frank Mittlebach (the project leader of the LaTeX project) [msg-id:

So.... I would think that this is a "Red Herring" in the true meaning
of the idiom. OTOH, the OP in that thread is some sort of Trafalgar
Square haranger; I think they call them trolls nowadays. Having
followed c.t.t. for almost 15 years on and off, that's the conclusion
I reached after giving him the benefit of the doubt the first two
years of reading his, rather amusing and technically interesting,

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