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Re: Groff hdtbl tables disappear near the footer

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: Groff hdtbl tables disappear near the footer
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2023 16:17:39 -0600

[Mike CCed just to be sure he gets this]

Hi Mike,

At 2023-12-04T18:43:15+0000, Mike wrote:
> I am new to groff. I am more a designer than a coder, so my
> understanding here may be lacking.

No worries.  This list is definitely not just for programmers.

> I created a CV template using groff + ms macros + tbl + hdtbl. To be
> fair, it worked wonderfully. I was able to replicate what I had
> previously done with LaTeX. Including adding hdtbl table entries with
> macros.

I'm glad to hear it!

> There is just one issue. I cannot get my head around why the tables
> created by hdtbl vanish as they approach the footer.
> If I place 6 tables in a row, tables one two and three will show on
> the first page, then tables 4,5 and 6 are gone. the following content
> is seen on the next page but not the tables (they appear to have been
> swallowed).
> I noticed, however, that a page break after the 3rd table causes the
> next 3 to appear on the following page. One caveat, sometimes when
> content moves, one of the middle tables (3 or 4) vanishes again, while
> the last few flow onto the next page.
> Perhaps this is by design and I am just naive to it, but I would love
> to know the cause and what I could do for reliable results.

I'm not aware of this being a "known problem" of hdtbl or something you
would be expected to anticipate.

This will require some troubleshooting on our part, I think.  hdtbl is
not exactly actively maintained; it's a "contrib" component that groff
bundles for convenience, but its author has not been seen on this
mailing list in years.

Can you prepare a pair of exhibits for us to test?  One that doesn't
show the problem, and one with as minimal a change as you can make to
cause it to happen?

Studying the differences between the two and the macros and requests
they do or don't call will likely help us to pinpoint the issue.


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