bugGNU troff - Bugs: bug #56015, tty device should handle bullet...


bug #56015: tty device should handle bullet character more intelligently

Submitted by:  Jeff Conrad <jeffconrad>
Submitted on:  Thu 28 Mar 2019 06:12:09 AM UTC  
Category:  Device - others Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  Incorrect behaviour Status:  Need Info
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None

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Thu 28 Mar 2019 09:14:09 AM UTC, comment #2: 

Oh.  I need to (temporarily?) retract my +1.

We already have the concept of a fallback character; it's what the .fchar request is for.  And an overstriking fallback is the very next thing in tty.tmac anyway.

Werner is the person who added this special casing for \[bu] back in 2015.

commit e7ea3e1106e0745ff252808e30d13a81478402eb
Author: Werner Lemberg <wl@gnu.org>
Date:   Wed Jun 17 19:47:20 2015 +0200

    * tmac/tty.tmac: Fix mapping of \[bu] character for -Tutf8.

    Problem reported by carsten.kunze@arcor.de.

I'll have to go to the mailing list to see if I can track this down.  The motivation is not spelled out here.

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Thu 28 Mar 2019 08:54:50 AM UTC, comment #1: 

I'm a +1 on this.

Except I'd go ahead and fall back to the asterisk if none of bullet, period centered, and middle dot are available:

.if !c\[bu] \{\
. ie c\[pc] \
. tr \[bu]\[pc]
. el \
. ie c\[md] \
. tr \[bu]\[md]
. el \
. tr \[bu]*

I would not count on modern "tty" devices to be capable of arbitrary overstriking, since they're made of glass.

We can of course develop a new "papertty" device, but if there wasn't much demand for it in 1991 I'm guessing there will be even less now.

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project AdministratorIn charge of this item.
Thu 28 Mar 2019 06:12:09 AM UTC, original submission:  

tty.tmac unconditionally translates \(bu to \(pc or \(md if either is available.

.ie c\[pc] \
.  tr \[bu]\[pc]
.el \
.  if c\[md] \
.    tr \[bu]\[md]

This seems a strange choice Under any conditions, this seems a strange choice versus the more common approximation of an asterisk or the venerable ‘+’ overstruck with a lowercase ‘o’; the middle dot and math dot are small, barely visible, and bare little resemblance to a bullet. The choice is absolutely bizarre when a true bullet is available.

Is this possibly an artifact of pre-devutf8 days?  Even if it is decided to keep the unusual dots when a true bullet is unavailable, Would it not make more sense in general to have something like

.if !c\[bu] \{\
.  ie c\[pc] \
.    tr \[bu]\[pc]
.  el \
.    if c\[md] \
.      tr \[bu]\[md]

Jeff Conrad <jeffconrad>


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    Follow 3 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2019-03-28 gbranden StatusNone => Need Info
        Assigned toNone => gbranden
    2019-03-28 gbranden SummaryTranslation of bullet to MIDDLE DOT => tty device should handle bullet character more intelligently

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