[TUHS] TeX/troff/typesetting markups - Re: SunOS 4 documentation

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Tue Apr 18 14:49:48 AEST 2017

On Saturday, 15 April 2017 at 11:27:49 -0400, Clem Cole wrote:
> If you grew up with an affinity for one, you are more likely to find
> it more comfortable for your needs.  I find a TeX just as ugly and
> unreadable as the runoff family with troff is a member.

FWIW, I grew up with TeX, but when I wrote "Porting UNIX Software" for
O'Reilly, they wanted the markup in groff with their adaptation of the
mm macro set.  I was game, and it worked well.  And then I discovered
I didn't want to go back to TeX.  I stuck with groff, and 20 years
later I'm still using it.

From the source of that book (P 120 of the printed version):

  More than anywhere else in porting, it is good for your state of mind to steer
  clear of
  .TXI \&
  internals.  The assumptions on which the syntax is based differ markedly from
  those of other programming languages.  For example, identifiers may not contain
  digits, and spaces are required only when the meaning would otherwise be
  ambiguous (to
  .TXI ,
  not to you), so the sequence \s10\f(CWfontsize300\fR\s0 is in fact the
  identifier \s10\f(CWfontsize\fR\s0 followed by the number \s10\f(CW300\fR\s0.
  On the other hand, it is almost impossible to find any good solid information in
  the documentation, so you could spend hours trying to solve a minor problem.  I
  have been using
  .TXI \&
  frequently for years, and I still find it the most frustrating program I have
  ever seen.\**
  When I wrote this sentence, I wondered if I wasn't overstating the case.  Mike
  Loukides, the author of \fIProgramming with GNU Software\fR, reviewed the final
  draft and added a single word: \fIAmen\fR.

.TXI was a macro that inserted a roughly correctly formatted Tex

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