[TUHS] Who used *ROFF?

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Wed May 16 00:23:34 AEST 2018


Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:

> We added a few Macro's to it for some books, but pretty much used it as it
> is for basic documents.   Janet Egan, Steve Talbot and someone else who's
> name I've forgotten, wrote a wonderful "Masscomp Style Guide" for all the
> books - I still have my copy.   Tim took it with him when he created
> O'Reilly.   All of the original 'NutShell' books and the set that got the
> O'Reilly empire started (the X11 stuff) was all Masscomp superset of -ms.

They were still using this circa 1997; I did the update of sed&awk in
troff, but by then O'Reilly had switched to DocBook. They converted
the book to DocBook, but actually printed it by running it through
some hairy perl scripts that turned it *back* into troff -ms + their
additional macros!

It was a mess, but eventually the book got printed.

As an aside, they still use DocBook, but with a more rational printing
engine. Nevertheless, something simple like:

	short	Text text text text
		Text text text text

	long item here
		Text text text text
		Text text text text

which troff handled with ease takes a lot of tweaking and style sheets
and Heaven-knows-what-else to do in DocBook. Bleah.

Arnold


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