[TUHS] It is time to modernise "groff"

Steve Simon steve at quintile.net
Tue Sep 5 23:27:35 AEST 2017



On 5 Sep 2017, at 12:37, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

>>> p) Remove the '-a' option (the ASCII approximation output).
>> 
>> I didn't even know this existed.  Looking at what it spits out, I find
>> myself wondering what good it is.  Is this for Unix troff compatibility?
>> For people who didn't even have glass TTYs and needed to imagine what
>> the typeset output would look like?
> 
> Here's a classic use:
> 
> Since groff is not WYSIWYG, the experimental cycle is long:
> edit - save - groff - view. In many cases that cycle can be
> short-circuited by typing straight into groff -a.
> 
> doug

i take a different approach.

i try to minimise the number of edit, troff, view cycles by typing as much of the text in as i can before viewing, relying on troff, tbl, and friends to make it look good.

this stops me from being distracted by layout and keeps me on the important stuff - the content.

the fact that troff is slower to display proofs than a WYSIWYG editor is, IMHO, a positive advantage.

-Steve




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