[NTG-context] latest beta, problem with natural tables and alignment character

Brian Landy brian at landy.cx
Wed Jun 18 05:18:53 CEST 2014


On Jun 17, 2014, at 11:18 AM, Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> wrote:

> On 6/16/2014 11:51 PM, Brian Landy wrote:
>> Hi, I was testing the latest beta (2014.06.15) and noticed I am getting incorrect output using natural tables with alignment characters.  I produced a small example that demonstrates the problem, and attached output created with the version I'm testing (bad.pdf) and my prior version (good.pdf, ConTeXt 2013.06.10).  You can see in the bad file that ConTeXt doesn't properly align on the "-" and it introduces spurious spaces.
> 
> i assume you haven't updated in a while as this is not something last beta specific
> 
> the alignment code has been redone some time ago (the general mechanism is more clever now) and it was mostly made for aligning numbers (not so much for your case as - is seen as minus)
> 

Yes, I hadn't updated in about a year.  I am running into a luatex exception in the version I'm using and want to see if the problem goes away if I update.

FYI, I was seeing similar problems aligning on a period, but I'll test it out in the next beta.

I do have a few cases where I've used alignmentcharacter={\thinspace} to work around some trickier problems where I needed to mix numbers and text and align in a specific way, do you think that will continue to work?  Actually at one point \zerowidthspace worked for this, but then stopped (I don't recall exactly when); my workaround was to add \thinspace\negthinspace to the text where I wanted the alignment to occur.  In fact, I possibly should have done this in my example, to avoid confusion of which "-" to align on in a number like "-0-25+."

As an aside, these are actually numbers—they are bond prices quoted in 32nds where the "+" is a 64th, so -0-25+ == -0.796875 and 97-08+ == 97.265625.  There are other conventions used, sometimes a colon instead of a dash (-0:25+), and sometimes numbers like -0-25:4, where the number following the colon is 8ths of a 32nd.  So it has always been extremely useful to have the flexibility to align on a variety of characters, as well as not having problems caused by other text mixed in with the numbers—currency symbols, % signs, etc.

Best regards,
Brian
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