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From: Clem Cole <clemc@ccc.com>
To: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Cc: TUHS main list <tuhs@minnie.tuhs.org>,
	Douglas McIlroy <douglas.mcilroy@dartmouth.edu>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Demise of TeX and groff (was: roff(7))
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 15:06:51 -0500	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <CAC20D2N7PXkwvFe7iyUhznwrAyJf7k6oea3R+QiHL79Ty+0xDA@mail.gmail.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <CAD2gp_TUJo3SU7e4NW6PDVxyey4dL-JvrbiaSbKMBB+fD9zOJA@mail.gmail.com>

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On Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 2:20 PM John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org> wrote:

> I assume you mean s/groff/troff/.  There must have been some public access
> to the documentation like this that allowed James Clark to develop groff in
> the 1987-91 time frame, though.  It's still the *roff shipped with *BSD.
>
No, I mean troff...  troff was written by Joseph Ossanna
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Ossanna> for early version of UNIX.  It
output was for the CAT4 typesetter [which Wang eventually was the owner,
although I believe when BTL bought the typesetter, the C/A/T folk was an
independent company from Wang].

The output is funky binary format.  The docs describing troff can be found
in some of the early distributions [for look in Warrens archives].  IIRC V6
had the nroff sources [
https://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=V6/usr/source/s7], and v7 has
the nroff/troff source [
https://minnie.tuhs.org/cgi-bin/utree.pl?file=V7/usr/src/cmd/troff].

I've forgotten which earlier version had the binary in /bin (maybe v6 but
possibly v5 too) and I'm fairly certain the original source leaked to the
Universities before V7.  I know we had the binary at CMU, before V7, but I
don't remember when we got the source - but I suspect one our OYOC students
brought it.   I'll Let Noah speak for MIT and some one like Mary Ann speak
for UCB before I got there.

After Joe died and the BTL crew got a new APS5 typesetter, Brian set out to
rewrite the code base to support any typesetting by using traditional
compiler technology of converting the input to an ASCII representation that
is walked by a seperate program that generates the device specific output.
In fact it was this work (original done on V6) that forced Dennis (and I
assume Steve Johnson) to update the C language a bit - which is what is
described in K&R1.  Brian's code and a version of DMR's updated C compiler
was released independently as a package - hence the term 'typesetter C.'
 This compiler and the new document system took a seperate license.   I had
it at both CMU in the 70s and Tektronix -- I think Steve Glaser had it at
Rice also - again ask someone else for other sites, including some of the
early European ones.

Later Brian's work was updated after V7 and included some new tools, and
became known as Writer's Workbench, which eventually was entered in the
'toolchest.'

At the time of the first release Brian published a paper / TR that
describes the new version of troff (a.ka. ditroff), including some level of
documentation for the intermediate language.  That was published and would
have been officially available to James.

Clark certainly had access to both the papers as well as binaries.  His
work would eventually be called groff. I personally saw a version of it
before it was taken into the Gnu project, in the early 1980s.  I do not
know if he had access to Brian's actual code under license when he
reimplemented it in C++ creating a new implementation, as UCB did when they
started to rewrite many of the utilities and main OS itself.

The AT&T case basically said that once the implementations was released,
AT&T could no longer call anything a trade secret, although they *do the
own the IP and copyright* [and please not start a GPL/BSD license flame
here -- the horse is so  dead - please go back into the TUHS archives and
read all about it if you are new here].

Larry is correct, that I do not believe that AT&T ever released that IP
directly -- although the sources are certainly available at: The Heirloom
Documentation Tools <https://n-t-roff.github.io/heirloom/doctools.html>   I
personally do not know the history. *But I believe* the concept is that
when Sun bought out its license and was able to open source Solaris, the
code base that goes back to Brian's original implementation became
available at that point. Some one like Larry or Rob Gingell who lived some
of that transition might be able to offer those details.

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  reply	other threads:[~2022-01-11 20:07 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 102+ 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
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 [this message]
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
2022-01-11 22:02 [TUHS] Demise of TeX and groff (was: roff(7)) Douglas McIlroy

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