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Re: [DRAFT] Revised groff ms manual for review

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: [DRAFT] Revised groff ms manual for review
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2020 09:47:14 +1100
User-agent: NeoMutt/20180716

Hi, Karthik!

At 2020-10-31T15:15:11+0000, Karthik Suresh wrote:
> > I feel like I'm about 40% of my way through a huge update of Larry
> > Kollar's document, as promised earlier this year.
> This is very good news for people like me that are still new to troff
> so thanks very much.

You're welcome!  I hope it can serve your needs.

> > Anyway, I'd appreciate feedback, positive or negative, on the
> > current state of affairs.
> The one element that I have found difficult to find information on is
> how to implement chapter headings with autonumbering in a consistent
> way when you're working on a book length project using ms. Some
> content around this would be extremely useful.

Yes, I think automatic numbering is insufficiently covered in, and
in the ms chapter of our Texinfo manual.  I already have an annotation
to myself to flesh it out.

You didn't say what kind of book you're talking about, unfortunately.

ms doesn't have a concept of a chapter, per se, but it's easy enough to
regard the top-level section number as a chapter number.  The questions
are these, at least.
  1. Do your chapters have titles?
  2. How do you want your chapters to render typographically?
     2a. Should they start a new page?
     2b. Should they be centered?
     2c. Should they be set in a really large font?
  3. Will you be producing a table of contents?

I've put together an example of chapter handling for a putative work of
literature, where a chapter number the only division of the work, always
starts a page, and is typeset very large.  The chapters don't have
titles per se, but do have a sort of summary.  In this type of work a
table of contents is often omitted, to prevent "spoilers".

To achieve the above, I defined my own chapter macro.  This is not
discouraged in ms, unlike in man(7) and mdoc(7).

This might be close or far away from what you have in mind.  It is,
however, extensively annotated with roff comments.

If it's off the mark from what you want, please offer some details about
your requirements.  If I can't figure it out, I am confident someone on
this list can--there are some true experts lurking.

I'm attaching both ms source and PDF rendered forms.


Description: Troff MS-macros document

Attachment: irish-novel.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

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