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Re: [Groff] The future redux

From: Mike Bianchi
Subject: Re: [Groff] The future redux
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 07:22:15 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 09:59:43PM -0500, Peter Schaffter wrote:
> Mike Bianchi summed up the backward compatibility concern best:
>       :
>   "So no, do not break groff by 'modernizing' it."

Just to be clear, my opinion is that the _vast_ majority of changes from legacy
*roff to groff have been modernizing that preserved backward compatibility, and
that is important when documents are viewed as living things that mature and

I cheered when the two-letter limit on names was abolished!  Very few things
broke and the source-code of my documents where now much easier to understand.
I even retrofitted some old ones as they changed.

The thing I fear is when  .glurp arg1 arg2  changes to  .glurp arg2 arg1 , etc.
(I cringe when I watch other languages, Ruby comes to mind, make this mistake.
Code, written to the spec, that used to work now doesn't?!)

As to "good typography", what I value most is that the document still reads
_correctly_ and looks OK.  I seldom care about how the text layout changes from
version to version.  (Although I do sometimes obsess over a widow or orphan,
or table layout.)

> I was really surprised by Mike's comment:
>   "Done right, a really great macro package would have to clearly
>   separated parts: presentation and format. ..."

I apologize Peter.  I have not considered mom in a _long_ time.  I'm too
comfortable in my mm macro world, but I'm finding mm a bit rickety for new
things I want to do.  It is time I looked at mom again.

Thank you for the long post.

 Mike Bianchi
 Foveal Systems

 973 822-2085


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