[TUHS] Introduction to {t,r,g}roff & co...

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Tue Sep 5 12:19:57 AEST 2017

Hi Grant, 

Somehow I missed your initial email, time to check my spam filters
I guess.

All this rambling below boils down to one thing: if you need help
with roff, I'm your guy.  Tell me what you want to do and I can
probably come up with some example stuff that you can play with.

I would suggest groff as a good start.  James did a great job.  There is
the heirloom stuff, I've played with it, my take is that it is like
Keith's nvi stuff, true to the origin but not useful because the world
has moved on.  Groff is my goto roff tool.

Anyhoo, I *love* troff and the preprocessors, I can draw pictures in my
head and then draw them in pic (I've done a lot of pic, got James to put
an extension in gnu pic so that you could iterate through the N things
you just drew, I can show you an exampe).

I _think_ I have the sources to the troff docs, I feel like I did a
project at one point to modernize how they looked.  

So you've gotten some good suggestions, I'm a fan of the original
docs though.  I still have the stack of docs that I bought at the 
UW Madison computing center - n/troff doc, pic, eqn, tbl.  Then 
there were various others, like grap, chem, etc.

I love all that stuff because it was designed at a time where you did
your markup and you sent it to the lab where the printer was and you
got it the next day or so.  There were no bitmapped displays, all this
stuff was done on 80x24 CRTs.  So the markup language, the pic stuff,
the eqn stuff, it all had to be something that you could see in your
head and put down in text.

That fits really well with how I think, I love the roff ecosystem to
this day (and I've done conference proceedings in roff and in LaTex,
I much prefer roff and the funny thing is when I show LaTex people
roff they go, wow, simple).

On Mon, Sep 04, 2017 at 03:18:35PM -0700, Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:
> > On Sep 4, 2017, at 3:06 PM, Grant Taylor <gtaylor at tnetconsulting.net> wrote:
> > 
> > Can anyone point to an introduction to {t,r,g}roff / pic / tbl / etcetera?
> troff.org is one of the best places to start out.

Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

More information about the TUHS mailing list