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From: Steffen Nurpmeso <steffen@sdaoden.eu>
To: Blake McBride <blake1024@gmail.com>
Cc: TUHS main list <tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org>,
	Douglas McIlroy <douglas.mcilroy@dartmouth.edu>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] TeX and groff (was: roff(7))
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2022 21:46:12 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <20220110204612.21c1y%steffen@sdaoden.eu> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <CABwHSOuMxgEJnNUczbcGhA_939q_XfwCLyqacaGpz3+AjdSqSQ@mail.gmail.com>

Blake McBride wrote in
 <CABwHSOuMxgEJnNUczbcGhA_939q_XfwCLyqacaGpz3+AjdSqSQ@mail.gmail.com>:
 |I've used nroff/troff/TeX with many of their various macro packages over
 |about a 35 years span.  During that time, I've done many single-page
 |documents as well as documents as long as 350 pages.  I also modified a
 |version of nroff to create business forms for Laster printers.  This is
 |still being used commercially.  This is one person's opinion:
 |
 |1.  Perhaps owing to my limited intelligence, and in spite of the fact that
 |I've used TeX successfully on many documents, I have never been able to
 |fully understand TeX.  Apparently, it is too much for me.  Troff, on the
 |other hand, has made full sense to me.  I was able to make it do what I
 |wanted almost always.  I enjoy using troff more because I find it simpler,
 |and therefore, more pleasant to use.
 |
 |2.  Looking at the output, it is my opinion that TeX produces
 |better-looking documents.  Perhaps this is just no more than one man's
 |esthetic opinion.  I do not know what it is that I find better.  It's just
 |the sense I get.  On the other hand, I find troff output to be sufficiently
 |good in nearly all cases.

Note that heirloom doctools (on github) is a SysV-derived *roff
codebase which has been extended to use TeX paragraph algorithm,
font kerning, true type fonts, etc.
You need to explicitly code your macros to use these features.

 |3.  troff is a good and reasonable tool.  TeX is too big and complex an
 |environment in most cases.  Although it is true that all of the complexity
 |of the TeX environment is successfully hidden in virtually all cases.  I
 |find the huge and complex environment offputting.

That is overly not true.  You can start off with nothing but what
TeX loads by default, plus epsf.tex and maybe colordvi.tex for
some use cases and you have everything you need.
I have never used it, but there is kertex and i am tracking it
since, eh, July 2012.  It is maintained.  It is just the bare
core, but includes more than i ever needed

  #?0|kent:kertex.tar_bomb_git$ git loca|wc -l
  20
  #?0|kent:kertex.tar_bomb_git$ du -sh .
  13M     .

 |Very unfortunately, I see troff disappearing.  I've worked with a number of
 |teams over the last ten years.  In every case, I was the oldest engineer.
 |Also, in each case, I was the only engineer who had even heard of troff.
 |They understand the problems of binary formats such as Word and
 |OpenOffice.  Their solutions are things like markdown, AsciiDoc, et al.
 |They are doing this development and making use of these tools without
 |knowledge of troff.  The same is true to a greater or lesser degree with
 |TeX, except that I've seen TeX used at universities.
 |
 |I like that groff and TeX are rock solid and well supported.  In fact, I
 |wrote a report generator for a modern web development framework using
 |troff.  I use it to develop reports on a routine basis.  (kissweb.org)
 |Sadly, however, if word of their existence doesn't get out there, I see
 |them both disappearing in not much longer than a generation.  This would be
 |sad indeed.

Gee, the current hip top of the pops is to not even include
generated documentation in release tarballs no more!
Heck, i even know a project that took a year-long-not-modified
manual page and converted it into some so-called text format.
It thus needs a software which happily announces itself as "ronn:
the opposite of roff", yieha!  I mean ruby ok, there are some such
tools which require Haskell, which in turn requires a binary
runtime package (or a huuuuge source ball).
No no, really not.

I mean really.  You develop it, you decide it is time for
a release, you do test the convertability do you, why not include
the 10 kilobytes for your is-anyway-almost-a-stub manual??
In fact these balls nowadays include .github subirectories for
github workflows, which is much larger than the manual.  Sigh.

--steffen
|
|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

  parent reply	other threads:[~2022-01-10 20:46 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     ` [TUHS] TeX and groff (was: roff(7)) Greg 'groggy' Lehey
2022-01-01  3:15       ` 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 [this message]
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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