From: Douglas McIlroy <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: TUHS main list <email@example.com> Subject: Re: [TUHS] macro returning a value? Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2021 13:45:54 -0500 [thread overview] Message-ID: <CAKH6PiXtsAiCjYmO32C1LJaEAajqjZt+j4mLHxkESzdA5HFZrQ@mail.gmail.com> (raw) > Is there a trick to make a macro or string return a value? I know what you mean. Though a string does return a value, it can't compute an arithmetic result. Alternatively, a macro, which can use arithmetic, can only return the result as a distinct input line. (That might be overcome by a trick with \c, but I don't see one right off.) Though I have no useful advice about this dilemma, it does spur memories. I wrote the pre-Unix roff that was reimplemented on Unix and then superseded by Joe Ossanna's nroff. Joe introduced macros. Curiously, I had implemented macros in an assembler so early on (1959) that I have (incorrectly) been cited as the father of macros, yet it never occurred to me to put them in roff. Joe's work inspired me to add macros to pre-Unix roff. I did one thing differently. A macro could be called the usual way or it could be called inline like an nroff string. The only difference was that a macro's final newline was omitted when it was expanded inline. That implementation might have helped with the dilemma. Doug
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