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[bug #61453] [nroff] request native mechanism for continuous (non-pagina

From: Dave
Subject: [bug #61453] [nroff] request native mechanism for continuous (non-paginated) rendering
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2021 19:00:42 -0500 (EST)
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/45.0


                 Summary: [nroff] request native mechanism for continuous
(non-paginated) rendering
                 Project: GNU troff
            Submitted by: barx
            Submitted on: Tue 09 Nov 2021 06:00:40 PM CST
                Category: Device - others
                Severity: 1 - Wish
              Item Group: New feature
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
         Planned Release: None



It is common when sending groff output to the terminal to want no "page
breaks" in the document.  But there is currently no simple way to achieve

One way of doing it is documented in the Texinfo manual under discussion of
the .em request
 But this system has several drawbacks:

* As explained just below the example in the manual, it can interfere with any
other use of groff's sole end-of-input trap.
* As mentioned in comment 1 of bug #55124, it prevents footnotes (or other
diverted text placed relative to the page bottom) from being output.
* It requires first establishing a dummy "page length" that will definitely be
greater than the number of lines output, which the document author may not
know (and which may change drastically if the width of the document is set to
be that of the terminal).

A more sophisticated system is that used in the -man macros: see the macro
.an-ne and the next few under it in tmac/an.tmac
 This method seems fairly robust but requires several macros to achieve, which
is not the ideal situation for behavior that is commonly desired.  It is also,
incidentally, mostly undocumented: a footnote in the aforementioned .em
documentation (and that added only a year ago
<http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/groff.git/commit/?id=18697e75>) gives a
seven-word overview of the concept but requires each user to re-invent the
wheel or track down the appropriate macros in an.tmac.

Thus this feature request for a simple mechanism to suppress page breaks on
any of the grotty devices.  This could take the form of a new request, but
perhaps a simpler solution is that proposed in bug #55124: changing the mostly
useless current behavior of a negative .pl value to enable continuous

As an alternate to altering the groff code, groff could provide a new,
dedicated tmac file for this task and properly document its inclusion and use.
 The existing macros in an.tmac could be leveraged for this if they're
suitable for general use.


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