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Re: [Groff] Letterspacing

From: Dave Kemper
Subject: Re: [Groff] Letterspacing
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:29:41 -0500

On 3/27/14, Peter Schaffter <address@hidden> wrote:
> is it really necessary to scan an entire paragraph
> to determine optimal linebreaks if judiciously adjusted word-and
> letter-spacing on a line-by-line basis can produce similar results?

The more relevant question is, *can* a line-by-line algorithm, with
some tweaks, produce results on par with an algorithm that considers
the entire paragraph?

I can't answer this definitively, of course, but I suspect it cannot.
I think it's most likely to fail in the situation Werner cited: very
narrow columns.  That's the situation where, say, line 4 might have
two possible breakpoints that both seem about equally good locally, but
choosing one of them would make it possible to justify line 7 elegantly,
while the other would give line 7 no good options.

This is theoretical hand-waving at this point, but when you're dealing
with lines that contain an average of three to four words, it's easy to
see how a couple of long words in a row will create difficulties, and
that the way the paragraph stands when those words are reached--based
on decisions made previously--could affect whether those difficulties
can be handled gracefully.

Hopefully, someone will prove me completely wrong.

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