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Re: [groff] seeking fixed-width breakable space

From: Dave Kemper
Subject: Re: [groff] seeking fixed-width breakable space
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2019 02:39:08 -0600

On 2/22/19, Dale Snell <address@hidden> wrote:
> you should be able to do something like "mrphl\|\:blrphl" and the two words
> should be separated by a thinspace that can break.

Hi Dale,

Thank you for the idea.  If that did work (and with limited testing I
haven't been able to get it to), it would create a nonbreaking space
and then a breakpoint, which would result in that space appearing at
the end of the line, which would misalign the right margin in fully
justified text.  I'm looking for a fixed-width space that can be
*replaced* by a line break (the typical behavior for a breakable
space) -- that is, the space no longer appears, either at the end of
the current line or the start of the next -- rather than a line break
happening before or after an unpaddable space, as would happen with
\:\| or \|\:.

On 2/26/19, Ralph Corderoy <address@hidden> wrote:
> I wonder if the `\:' looks like it is at the start of the word `blrphl',
> in your example, and thus says to not hyphenate `blrphl' rather than
> provide a break point for hyphenating `mrphl\|blrphl'.

I'm not sure I follow your point.  A \: before a word does not have
the same meaning as a \% before a word; the \: escape is (according to
the documentation anyway) only ever used to specify a breakpoint, and
unlike \%, does not change meaning based on placement.

And I confess I can't quite make out what your example is trying to
illustrate.  Your lines would never be broken between "d" and "e"
anyway (which is clearer in the PostScript output -- where you can see
the right margin -- than the -a output), so the presence or absence of
the \: at this point does not affect the line breaking at all.

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