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Re: The -mb macro package for books

From: Oliver Corff
Subject: Re: The -mb macro package for books
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2021 16:13:45 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.10.1

Hi Seninha,

Congratulations, you wrote a very compact macro package with a good set
of functionalities and capabilities. Please share with us whether this
is a one-of-a-kind effort or whether you intend to develop this package

I couldn't run your source files because I do not have a Heirloom
installation (maybe your project is a good reason to install that), but
beyond that, just one or two comments and one question.

It is very good to see that you have a table of contents at the
beginning of a book (in contrast, classical packages like ms can only
generate TOCs which are positioned at the end of the document without
additional intervention).

Your font mechanism seems to be an Heirloom feature, GNU groff fails (or
I do not understand the setup which is perfectly possible).

Do you intend to provide mechanisms for the integration of tables (tbl)
and references (refer)? If I understand correctly, the tbl output can be
processed as-is but perhaps there may be compatibility issues --- this
is just a humble question. With refer, the situation is a bit different,
the macro package provides a substantial amount of processing for the
presentation of references, be it as single reference, or list of
references, usually at the end of an opus.

My question to you, playing the advocatus diaboli: How do you position
your macro package against, e.g., ms (which can produce neatly looking
large documents), me (which as a different look), and mom (which has a
very strong focus on user-controllable appearance, plus a completeness
of capabilities for beautiful documents, rather than limiting itself to
the clean and sober appearance of technical literature, a field the
original troff family of typesetting tools was conceived in?

Best regards,


On 19/11/2021 06:25, Lucas de Sena wrote:
I'm seninha and I just want to share with you a macro package that I
created.  It's called -mb and I use it to format books.

I'm not a troff wizard (yet) but I have read some books and documents
on troff and I have some knowledge on how to create macros.

I'd like to hear your opinion on the macro package itself and on a book
that I formated using this macro package.

The book is The Cathedral and the Bazaar, by Eric S. Raymond.

The source code of the book is on my github page[1] and the pdf of
the book, the macro package, and a (rather outdated) manual for it
are annexed to this mail.

I have also created a macro package for slides presentation, with which
I created a small presentation on how to create macro packages[2].



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