[TUHS] Scan of "Edition 0" manual

Charles Anthony charles.unix.pro at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 04:47:57 AEST 2015

On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 10:20 AM, Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> > It might not be so much a set of macros as just using a
> > subset of raw groff.
> Yes, there were no macros back then. If you format the
> document using raw groff, the odds are that you will be
> speaking the same roff that Dennis did.
> >  Doug having been there, might know/remember the actually lineage.
> Aside from some fuzziness about who wrote what and in what
> language, here's what happened:
> To port Jerry Saltzer's Runoff (presumably written in MAD)
> to Multics, either Dennis or Bob Morris or both together
> reimplemented it (presumably in PL/I). To coexist with
> Saltzer's version on CTSS, the new program needed a
> distinct name, hence roff.
> The early Multics PL/I compiler was far from a production
> tool. Justifiably, the Bell Labs comp center didn't
> support it. To get roff into general use at the Labs,
> I undertook yet another implementation in BCPL. I added
> functionality (number registers, three-part headings, etc)
> and kept the new name. Molly Wagner added hyphenation.
> Eventually, I added macros that were usable either as
> commands or (when parameterless) embedded in text.
>From Multics 12.5:


//                  Roff for MULTICS
//  The first ROFF for Multics was written in March, 1969, by
//  Doug McIlroy of Bell Labs.  Art Evans made extensive
//  modifications to it in May and June, 1969, adding many
//  comments and making various changes.
//  Footnoting added by Dennis Capps in 1970.
//  Maintained by Harwell Thrasher in 1971.
//  Many new features added and bugs fixed by R Mabee in 1971-1972.
//  RUNOFF and BCPL were brought over to the 6180 Multics (from 645) in May
of 1973 by R F Mabee.

The string 'macro" does not appear in the Multics runoff source.

> An interesting question of priority is whether nroff or
> BCPL roff was first to have a macro capability. Though
> I don't remember for sure, the fact that BCPL roff unified
> registers, macros, strings and diversions suggests that
> I abstracted from nroff facilities.
> Doug

-- Charles
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