[texhax] An idea for finding good page breaks

Peter Seibel peter at gigamonkeys.com
Tue May 26 02:03:16 CEST 2009

I'm playing around with  typesetting a book of interviews (see .sig to
guess which one). It seems like I'll be using the memoir class. The
basic formatting of the Q&A exchanges is each time the speaker changes
we have a small vskip and an unindented paragraph starting with the
speaker's name and any subsequent paragraphs while the same speaker is
talking are indented normally. I.e. something like my ASCII art
representation below.

It occurred to me that given this format, that a maybe a good way to
help TeX find good page breaks would be to let the vskips before each
new speaker act sort of analogously to the interword spacing when
computing line breaks. I.e. all the vskips on a page should be the
same but they can differ from page to page as a way to help expand or
contract the text a bit to get good breaks.

So I have two questions:

  1. Is that at all a reasonable idea?
  2. Is there some easy way to implement it in TeX/LaTeX/memoir?


ASCII art illustration:

  Interviewer: Stuff stuff stuff?

  Interviewee: More stuff blah blah blah.
  Another sentence.
     A new paragraph of text from the same
  speaker. Blah blah blah.

 Interviewer: Another question?

Peter Seibel

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