Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Paragraph Justification in groff and TeX

An interesting message thread developed on the groff mailing list about various features of Groff and Heirloom Troff, with a mention of neatroff. In particular, Steve Izma's post (P1) discussed how he found TeX's paragraph-at-a-time justification required as much tweaking as groff's simpler paragraph justification. That lead to Peter Schaffter's post (P2) linking to an earlier post (P3) where he proposed a simpler algorithm to improve Groff's line-breaking and justification than the full Knuth-Plass Line-Breaking Algorithm (KP1, D1) that TeX uses. While writing this post I ran across another paper, “Global multiple objective line breaking” by Alex Holkner (GMOLB1, GMOLB2) that explores another line breaking algorithm and references some of the other papers on the subject.

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