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Re: [groff] More on stripping

From: Doug McIlroy
Subject: Re: [groff] More on stripping
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 23:29:45 -0400
User-agent: Heirloom mailx 12.5 7/5/10

The previous discussion that Branden cited offered no
significant data about the value of stripping.
I had given one example of a complicated scientific
paper with lots of pic, eqn, and tbl, typset with
the relatively simple -ms package. Stripping
made essentially no difference in the overall
run time.

Perhaps a more complicated macro package, especially
one that places comments within macro definitions,
would feel a greater effect--even more so if
preprocessors were not involved.

So I put together a -ms test with no preprocessors.
The input was about 1 MB, comprising 30K lines
of which 8000 were macro calls. I padded every line of
s.tmac that did not end in \ or \c with a 32-character
comment. Thus macro expansions were laden with comments.

The variance in running times pretty well swamped
the difference between -ms padded and unpadded.
The difference was at most a few percent.

With Peter preferring to distribute -mom unstripped,
it's hard to find an argument for default stripping.
Maybe mandoc doesn't want to give it up. If so, let
it have it and stew in its own complexity, while
all the rest get freed from meddling.


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