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Re: [Groff] Strange error messages from Groff 1.22.3

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: [Groff] Strange error messages from Groff 1.22.3
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2014 15:06:22 +0200

> Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2014 11:22:58 +0200
> From: Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden>
> I think I know the reason.  This is Windows-specific, as demonstrated
> by using the -V switch:
>  groff -t -man -V \usr\share\man\man1\chem.1
>  tbl '\usr\share\man\man1\chem.1' | troff -man -Tascii | grotty
> The problem is triggered by using the backslash as directory separator
> in file names (so the command I showed in my original report was a
> lie ;-), which causes append_arg_to_string to try quoting the file name,
> by using the '..' style of quoting.  But native Windows programs don't
> understand this quoting, so the quote characters are not stripped and
> appear verbatim in the tbl command line.
> I will submit a change to fix this.

OK, there's more to this than just the quoting.  I fixed the quoting,
but I still see error messages, like this one:

  groff -t -man man\man1\chem.1 > man\cat1\chem.1
  <standard input>:4: name expected (got a node): treated as missing
  <standard input>:0: warning: numeric expression expected (got `a')
  <standard input>:550: name expected (got a node): treated as missing
  <standard input>:410: warning: numeric expression expected (got `a')

These come from the .lf directives, like this one:

  .lf 1 man\man1\chem.1

One possible solution to this is to convert all backslashes to forward
slashes '/' when writing the .lf directive.  Unfortunately, there are
quite a few places where .lf is emitted, so before I go ahead and do
it, I have a question: why do the programs that read those .lf
directives choke on such file names?  The Groff manual clearly says
that the format of the .lf directive is

  .lf line [filename]

So the programs who read this ought to interpret what follows the line
number as a file name.  Why do they try to interpret that as something
else, like node or whatever?  What am I missing here?


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