bugGNU roff - Bugs: bug #65558, [UPGRADE] improve paragraph...


bug #65558: [UPGRADE] improve paragraph formatting within groff's line-at-a-time processing

Submitter:  Dave <barx>
Submitted:  Fri 05 Apr 2024 04:52:22 AM UTC
Category:  Core Severity:  1 - Wish
Item Group:  Feature change Status:  None
Privacy:  Public Assigned to:  None
Open/Closed:  Open Planned Release:  None
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Fri 05 Apr 2024 04:52:22 AM UTC, original submission:  

Bug #40716 seeks to bring TeX's Knuth-Plass algorithm to groff.  This is in progress but is a monumental, and thus slow, task.

The 2014 Groff Mission Statement (http://www.gnu.org/software/groff/groff-mission-statement.html) offers K-P as "the most likely candidate" for improving groff's paragraph formatting.  But discussion that took place around the time this mission statement was being drafted reveals other contenders.

As an alternative that's simpler to implement, since it doesn't require changing groff's underlying line-by-line approach, Peter posted this pseudocode: http://lists.gnu.org/r/groff/2014-03/msg00322.html

(The thread continues in several pieces not linked to each other:


Years later, Peter wrote (http://lists.gnu.org/r/groff/2020-07/msg00101.html): "I worked on systems that used the formatting strategy I proposed and can confirm that it significantly reduced the amount of intervention required to achieve good grey on a line-by-line basis."

Consensus seems to be that K-P provides the best known automated results, but given how extensive a change that is, in the interim if someone is willing to turn Peter's pseudocode into working groff code, this could be a substantially lower hurdle providing quite good results.

Dave <barx>
Group Member


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