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Re: [Groff] Table cell vertical align

From: Ted Harding
Subject: Re: [Groff] Table cell vertical align
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2012 19:17:50 +0100 (BST)

On 11-Sep-2012 17:49:49 Werner LEMBERG wrote:
>> That may have been James Clarke, who was *creating* groff in the
>> late 1980s in the UK. He would not have been happy with a variant
>> spelling such as "neighbor". He would not have 'slipped that "u"
>> into neghbour' -- he would have been setting it up himself!
>> However, my then (1991) installation of groff is no longer
>> accessible, so I can't check directly.
>> Anyone know?
> It was probably me (having German as my mother tongue) who mixed up US
> and UK spelling.
>    Werner

It probably was you, Werner: I have just found a printout of the groff
'tbl' man page in an old ring-binder. The footer states:

  Groff Version 1.10   26 June 1995

This is the old very terse (à la James Clarke) man-page, in which
"Only the differences between GNU tbl and Unix tbl are described here".
The relevant line is

  "There is a d format modifier which means that a vertically
   spanning entry should be aligned at the bottom of its range."

Nothing more. And there is nothing whatever on the subject of "_".

So that passage which James Lowden quoted was added later, almost
certainly by Werner, who has been responsible for filling in many
of the details which went missing under James Clarke's "diff"
approach to writing groff man-tables.

I'm not able at the moment to access an original Unix man-page
for tbl, so cannot compare groff's current one with the Unix
original. If that passage is in the original as James quoted it
(apart from the "u"), then indeed Werner has "slipped in" the "u".
If not, then I think one can say that Werner created it anew,
and then, in my opinion, has not "mixed up" US and UK spelling,
but has simply chosen one in preference to the other!

Best wishes to all,

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Date: 11-Sep-2012  Time: 19:17:44
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