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GROFF_TRACE(7)                                                  GROFF_TRACE(7)



NAME
       groff_trace - groff macro package trace.tmac

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

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

DESCRIPTION
       The trace macro package of groff(1) can be a valuable tool for debugging documents written in the roff  format-
       ting  language.  A call stack trace is protocolled on standard error, that means, a diagnostic message is emit-
       ted 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.

EXAMPLES
       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 normal  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 protocolled; on the other hand, the macro after is ful-
       ly protocolled.

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

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

AUTHOR
       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 <bwarkenATmayn.de>.

SEE ALSO
       groff(1)
              An overview of the groff system.

       troff(1)
              For details on option -m.

       groffer(1)
              A viewer program for all kinds of roff documents.

       groff_tmac(5)
              A general description of groff macro packages.

       groff(7)
              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 1.18.1.4           13 July 2002                   GROFF_TRACE(7)