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From: Greg 'groggy' Lehey <grog@lemis.com>
To: Larry McVoy <lm@mcvoy.com>
Cc: TUHS main list <tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org>,
	Douglas McIlroy <douglas.mcilroy@dartmouth.edu>
Subject: [TUHS] TeX and groff (was: roff(7))
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2022 11:56:05 +1100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <20220101005605.GL75481@eureka.lemis.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <20211231234039.GU31637@mcvoy.com>

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On Friday, 31 December 2021 at 15:40:39 -0800, Larry McVoy wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 01, 2022 at 09:07:49AM +1000, George Michaelson wrote:
>> But macros aside, anyone who had used runoff had a
>> massively simpler path into roff than TeX. My future was set. The phd
>> students at Leeds looked down their noses at me for using cryptic .2 letter
>> inline magic. They were the high priests of things, I was just a computer
>> operator.  Watching them spend weeks and weeks wrangling a one em offset
>> problem stopping perfection in print was.. entertaining.
>
> I was program committee chair for Linux Expo in 1999 (all that means is
> I formatted the proceedings into a book).  I let people use LaTex but
> encouraged troff.  A few people tried out troff and their reaction was
> "Wow, that was so easy and groff is really fast!"

Heh.  I had a similar experience when writing "Porting Unix Software"
(1995).  O'Reilly insisted on using groff with their macro set, and I
had only had experience with (La)TeX.  I fought for quite some time,
but ultimately gave in.  Despite Baby Duck Syndrome, I discovered that
I far preferred groff to TeX, and I've been using it ever since.

From PUS:

   .Pe
   More than anywhere else in porting, it is good for your state of mind to steer
   clear of
   .TXI \&
   internals.  The assumptions on which the syntax is based differ markedly from
   those of other programming languages.  For example, identifiers may not contain
   digits, and spaces are required only when the meaning would otherwise be
   ambiguous (to
   .TXI ,
   not to you), so the sequence \s10\f(CWfontsize300\fR\s0 is in fact the
   identifier \s10\f(CWfontsize\fR\s0 followed by the number \s10\f(CW300\fR\s0.
   On the other hand, it is almost impossible to find any good solid information in
   the documentation, so you could spend hours trying to solve a minor problem.  I
   have been using
   .TXI \&
   frequently for years, and I still find it the most frustrating program I have
   ever seen.\**
   .FS
   When I wrote this sentence, I wondered if I wasn't overstating the case.  Mike
   Loukides, the author of \fIProgramming with GNU Software\fR, reviewed the final
   draft and added a single word: \fIAmen\fR.
   .FE

> The only negative reaction was table of contents complaints, LaTex is
> 2 pass so it can do them, roff is one pass so you have to fiddle with
> things.  A lot.

I solved that issue in later documents with two passes in the Makefile
targets, frobbing things like references and contents in between.

Greg
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  reply	other threads:[~2022-01-01  1:03 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 112+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-12-31 15:47 [TUHS] roff(7) Douglas McIlroy
2021-12-31 23:07 ` George Michaelson
2021-12-31 23:40   ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-01  0:56     ` Greg 'groggy' Lehey [this message]
2022-01-01  3:15       ` [TUHS] TeX and groff (was: roff(7)) Larry McVoy
2022-01-10 19:00         ` Blake McBride
2022-01-10 20:21           ` Jon Forrest
2022-01-11 22:48             ` Blake McBride
2022-01-11 23:18               ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-12  1:19                 ` Dave Horsfall
2022-01-12  1:46                 ` Blake McBride
2022-01-12  2:12                 ` Bakul Shah
2022-01-12 15:49                   ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-12 16:22                     ` Adam Thornton
2022-01-12  0:06               ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-12  1:48                 ` Blake McBride
2022-01-12  0:29               ` Nemo Nusquam
2022-01-12  1:53                 ` Blake McBride
     [not found]               ` <E3CC4B8A-4E88-4339-A4D3-4ED26BA80620@gmail.com>
2022-01-12  0:44                 ` Jon Forrest
2022-01-12  2:00                   ` Blake McBride
2022-01-12  2:10                     ` David Arnold
2022-01-12  2:26                       ` Adam Thornton
2022-01-12 19:54                     ` John Cowan
2022-01-13 10:13                       ` Thomas Paulsen
2022-01-13 20:00                         ` John Cowan
2022-01-10 20:33           ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-10 20:37             ` Richard Salz
2022-01-10 21:04               ` Dan Cross
2022-01-10 21:48                 ` Nemo Nusquam
2022-01-11  2:25                 ` Lyndon Nerenberg (VE7TFX/VE6BBM)
2022-01-11  2:47                   ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-22  2:34                   ` [TUHS] troff environments, traps, and diversions (was: TeX and groff) Branden Robinson
2022-01-22 16:02                     ` Douglas McIlroy
2022-01-23 19:45                       ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-23 22:26                       ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-11  1:52               ` [TUHS] Recognizing TeX (was: TeX and groff (was: roff(7))) Greg 'groggy' Lehey
2022-01-12  1:19             ` [TUHS] TeX and groff (was: roff(7)) Mary Ann Horton
2022-01-12  2:03               ` Blake McBride
2022-01-12  2:10               ` Bakul Shah
2022-01-12  3:44                 ` Dan Cross
2022-01-12 16:48               ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2022-01-10 20:46           ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2022-01-11  1:59           ` [TUHS] Demise of " Greg 'groggy' Lehey
2022-01-11  2:13             ` Lyndon Nerenberg (VE7TFX/VE6BBM)
2022-01-11  2:42               ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-11  5:12                 ` Greg 'groggy' Lehey
2022-01-11  5:59                   ` John Labovitz
2022-01-11  8:57                   ` arnold
2022-01-11 20:15                     ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-11 20:22                       ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-11 20:26                         ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-11 20:36                           ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-11 20:41                             ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-11 20:49                               ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-11 21:03                                 ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-11  8:50                 ` arnold
2022-01-11 14:00                   ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-12 23:22                     ` [TUHS] troff or groff? (was: Demise of TeX and groff (was: roff(7))) Greg 'groggy' Lehey
2022-01-12 23:29                       ` Greg 'groggy' Lehey
2022-01-12 23:32                       ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-11 15:47                 ` [TUHS] Demise of TeX and groff (was: roff(7)) Clem Cole
2022-01-11 16:55                   ` Richard Salz
2022-01-11 18:49                     ` Clem Cole
2022-01-11 19:20                   ` John Cowan
2022-01-11 20:06                     ` Clem Cole
2022-01-11 23:57                       ` Warner Losh
2022-01-12  0:03                         ` Warner Losh
2022-01-12  8:54                       ` arnold
2022-01-12 15:17                         ` Clem Cole
2022-01-12 16:33                         ` Dan Cross
2022-01-12 18:06                           ` [TUHS] *roff history as told to GNU G. Branden Robinson
2022-01-12 18:34                             ` Dan Halbert
2022-01-12 22:48                               ` Clem Cole
2022-01-12 23:27                                 ` Charles H. Sauer
2022-01-13  0:35                                   ` Adam Thornton
2022-01-12 20:01                             ` Dan Cross
2022-01-12 22:32                             ` Clem Cole
2022-01-13  2:38                             ` John Labovitz
2022-01-13  7:42                               ` Lars Brinkhoff
2022-01-13 13:47                                 ` John Labovitz
2022-01-12  8:48                   ` [TUHS] Demise of TeX and groff (was: roff(7)) arnold
2022-01-12 15:51                     ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-12 15:57                       ` Clem Cole
2022-01-12 15:56                     ` Clem Cole
2022-01-11  3:22               ` Adam Thornton
2022-01-12  0:32             ` Nemo Nusquam
2022-01-01 20:00     ` [TUHS] roff(7) [ and other related stuff ] Jon Steinhart
2022-01-02  0:12       ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-02  1:04         ` John Cowan
2022-01-02  1:20           ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-02  1:47             ` Steve Nickolas
2022-01-02  2:12               ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-02  3:56               ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-02  1:48             ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-02  3:04             ` John Cowan
2022-01-02  3:30               ` Warner Losh
2022-01-01  1:11   ` [TUHS] roff(7) Phil Budne
2022-01-01  1:17     ` Chris Torek
2022-01-01  3:06       ` Larry McVoy
2022-01-01  3:34       ` George Michaelson
2022-01-05 21:15   ` Tony Finch
2022-01-10 21:06 [TUHS] TeX and groff (was: roff(7)) Jon Steinhart
2022-01-11 11:06 ` Ralph Corderoy
2022-01-11 14:52   ` John Cowan
2022-01-10 21:12 Bakul Shah
2022-01-11 13:37 Nelson H. F. Beebe
2022-01-12  2:49 Jon Steinhart
2022-01-12 10:38 ` Ralph Corderoy
2022-01-12 17:53   ` Jon Steinhart
2022-01-12 18:27     ` G. Branden Robinson
2022-01-12 19:02       ` John Cowan
2022-01-13 17:31 Douglas McIlroy

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