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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for groff_trace (redhat section 7)

GROFF_TRACE(7)			 Miscellaneous Information Manual		   GROFF_TRACE(7)

       groff_trace - groff macro package trace.tmac

       groff -m trace [options...] [files...]

       Elements  in  brackets denote optional arguments, and the ellipsis means that there can be
       any number of arguments of this kind.

       The trace macro package of groff(1) can be a valuable tool for debugging documents written
       in  the	roff  formatting  language.  A call stack trace is protocolled on standard error,
       that means, a diagnostic message is emitted on entering and exiting of a macro call.  This
       greatly eases to track down an error in some macro.

       This  tracing  process  is  activated by specifying the groff or troff command line option
       -m trace.  This works also with the groffer(1) viewer program.  A  finer  control  can  be
       obtained  by  including	the  macro  file  within  the  document  by  the groff macro call
       .mso trace.tmac.  Only macros that are defined after this line are traced.

       If some other macro package should be traced as well it must be specified after	-m  trace
       on the command line.

       The  macro  file trace.tmac is unusual because it does not contain any macros to be called
       by a user.  Instead, the existing macro definition and appending facilities  are  modified
       such that they display diagnostic messages.

       In  the	following  examples, a roff fragment is fed into groff via standard input.  As we
       are only interested in the diagnostic messages (standard error) on the terminal, the  nor-
       mal  formatted  output  (standard output) is redirected into the nirvana device /dev/null.
       The resulting diagnostic messages are displayed directly below the corresponding example.

   Command line option
       sh# echo '.
       >   .de test_macro
       >   ..
       >   .test_macro
       >   .test_macro some dummy arguments
       >   ' | groff -m trace >/dev/null

       *** de trace enter: test_macro
       *** trace exit: test_macro
       *** de trace enter: test_macro "some" "dummy" "arguments"
       *** trace exit: test_macro "some" "dummy" "arguments"

       The entry and the exit of each macro call is displayed on the terminal  (standard  output)
       -- together with the arguments (if any).

   Nested macro calls
       sh# echo '.
       >   .de child
       >   ..
       >   .de parent
       >   .child
       >   ..
       >   .parent
       >   ' | groff -m trace >/dev/null

       *** de trace enter: parent
       *** de trace enter: child
       *** trace exit: child
       *** trace exit: parent

       This  shows  that  macro calls can be nested.  This powerful feature can help to tack down
       quite complex call stacks.

   Activating with .mso
       sh# echo '.
       >   .de before
       >   ..
       >   .mso trace.tmac
       >   .de after
       >   ..
       >   .before
       >   .after
       >   .before
       >   ' | groff >/dev/null

       *** de trace enter: after
       *** trace exit: after

       Here, the tracing is activated within the document, not by  a  command  line  option.   As
       tracing	was  not  active  when	macro before was defined, no call of this macro is proto-
       colled; on the other hand, the macro after is fully protocolled.

       The trace macros are kept in the file  trace.tmac  located  in  the  tmac  directory;  see
       groff_tmac(5) for details.

	      A  colon-separated list of additional tmac directories in which to search for macro
	      files; see groff_tmac(5) for details.

       Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This document is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free  Documentation  License)
       version	1.1  or  later.  You should have received a copy of the FDL on your system, it is
       also available on-line at the GNU copyleft site <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html>.

       This document is part of groff, the GNU roff distribution.  It was written by Bernd Warken

	      An overview of the groff system.

	      For details on option -m.

	      A viewer program for all kinds of roff documents.

	      A general description of groff macro packages.

	      A short reference for the groff formatting language.

       A complete reference for all parts of the groff system is found in the groff info(1) file.

Groff Version 1.18.1			   13 July 2002 			   GROFF_TRACE(7)

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