bugGNU roff - Bugs: bug #61828, make .tkf use same amount of space...


bug #61828: make .tkf use same amount of space before and after each affected glyph

Submitter:  Dave <barx>
Submitted:  Sat 15 Jan 2022 07:33:44 AM UTC
Category:  Core Severity:  3 - Normal
Item Group:  Rendering/Cosmetics Status:  None
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None
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Sat 15 Jan 2022 07:33:44 AM UTC, original submission:  


I ought to have learned by now that not much is gained by putting multiple problems, even closely related problems, into the same bug report.  If they can be addressed separately, it makes more sense to file separate reports for them.

This report concerns itself with the second of the two problems listed in bug #58562.

Of those two problems, I bet this is the easier one to solve.  Additionally, because this detail of the behavior (that .tkf adds all extra space to only one side of each glyph) has never been documented, I believe it's also permissible to change that behavior without violating users' expectations of back compatibility.  This change will alter some typeset output, but I wager almost always for the better, unless some user is abusing .tkf to achieve some specific effect based on its current (though, I reiterate, undocumented) behavior.

The behavior is the same in groff 1.22.4 and a recent build (1.23.0.rc1.1499-34c5f).

The bug

Here is the problem description airlifted in from #58562.

This bug only applies to typeset output; .tkf has no effect in terminal output.

This test case uses somewhat greater track kerning than might be used in a real-world application, in order to make the problem more visible.  But the same problem occurs on a smaller scale with smaller adjustments.

.ll 4i
.tkf B 4 4 32 16
We the people of the United States,
in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice,
insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare, and
secure the blessing of \fBliberty
to ourselves\fP and our posterity,
do ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States of America.

As output from this shows, .tkf adds all the extra space to the right of the glyph, producing inconsistent spacing before and after the bolded passage.

It would be better for .tkf to add half the space to the left of each glyph and half to the right, effectively centering each glyph within its wider window.

Dave <barx>
Group Member


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