[+COFF and TUHS to Bcc:]
Okay, here we go: troff vs. TeX food fight.
On Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 11:56 AM Larry McVoy <lm(a)mcvoy.com> wrote:
I actually wacked a bunch of the Unix docs to make
them look a little
better, I should see if I can find that.
I'd like to see that; presentation of some of those docs is getting a bit
long in the tooth.
I agree that roff is awesome, it's a bummer that Latex seems to be
the winner (which I think is purely because the
docs weren't widely available back in the day).
I have to disagree with this, however. TeX (and more specifically LaTeX)
won out for technical writing because, frankly, it produces nicer output
than *roff did. If I were writing a thesis or paper, I'd frankly rather use
LaTeX or AMSLaTeX.
I've used eqn to try and typeset math; it's OK if it's all that you've
An nroff approximation for output to the terminal is kind of nifty, but
beyond that it simply pales in comparison to TeX. I know that people have,
and perhaps still do, typeset mathematics with eqn/neqn/troff, but given a
choice between the two, I think you'd be hard pressed to find a
mathematician who would choose troff over TeX; similarly with most
Now tbl and pic, those are pretty cool. Even then, GNU pic will output TeX
for incorporation into other documents, and LaTeX has some very nice
table-creation environments that largely subsume the functionality of tbl.
Now don't get me wrong, I *like* roff, and I use it occasionally for
one-off things, but for serious writing for publication I'd generally chose
- Dan C.