bugGNU roff - Bugs: bug #63587, [troff] set .R register to maximum...


bug #63587: [troff] set .R register to maximum representable integer

Submitter:  G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Submitted:  Thu 29 Dec 2022 03:52:30 AM UTC
Category:  Core Severity:  1 - Wish
Item Group:  Feature change Status:  Postponed
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None
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Thu 19 Jan 2023 09:21:31 PM UTC, comment #1: 

I like this.  Even if repurposing .R turns out to be infeasible for some reason, having some other predefined register specifying groff's INT_MAX would be worthwhile.

Dave <barx>
Project Member
Thu 29 Dec 2022 03:52:30 AM UTC, original submission:  

I have a few uses in mind for .R.  It is presently fixed at 10,000, which is not presently a useful value for any particular purpose.  It just means "large", and I've never seen any code that tests it for its historical purpose (checking for register availability, a sort of crude memory capacity test).

1. We could advise users to employ it if they want to turn on centering or right-alignment "forever".

2. We could advise users to use it, or turn our own macro packages toward it, for expression of an "infinite" page length.

3. If done carefully, a user could avoid integer overflow errors before undertaking arithmetic with large magnitudes.

4. It would be easy to determine the width of the underlying integer type from within the roff language.  At present the language doesn't really abstract this, it simply lays down land mines that you blunder into if your arithmetic gets too ambitious.

G. Branden Robinson <gbranden>
Project Administrator


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