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Re: rethinking @def*

From: pertusus
Subject: Re: rethinking @def*
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 00:53:53 +0200


I did an implementation in LaTeX.

A first possible issue.  In non @deftype*, @code around metasyntactical
separators (bracket or parentheses) causes the metasyntactical
separators to become slanted.  It is consistent, putting in @code remove
the automatic upright, but it is not very intuitive, as @code turns non
slanted to slanted.

With the first line, [ are upright typewriter.  With the second line,
[ are slanted typewriter:

@defspec foobar (var [from to [inc]]) default
@defspecx foobar (var @code{[}from to @code{[}inc@code{]]}) code

Another issue. The quotes '' and dashes, such as --- are not as in the
main document, even with @r.  They are in roman when in @r, but
formatted as three separate -, not an em dash.  This makes sense, as it
is code.  However, it is not backward compatible, and there is no way to
get an em dash as before.

Anything that should be done differently?

Regarding the differences with the current TeX groff manual formatting,
I think that the main difference is that in arguments, all the brackets
and parenthese are now in (upright) typewriter.  I do not think that it
is an issue, as now it is possible to format to typewriter or roman,
with current TeX it can only be roman.

Also, some variable names may be in typewriter in addition to being
slanted (those not in @Var, if there are some, I am no sure), however I
do not find the difference to be that visible.  

Making @Var a no-op would lead to the arguments of the macro to be
slanted typewriter too, which could be better, in my opinion.


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