[TUHS] Who used *ROFF?

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Tue May 15 01:11:34 AEST 2018

BTW, I still find pic really useful, I use it to lay out stuff because
you can draw stuff to scale.  I've used it to lay out my shop, furniture
I've built, where I trenched ethernet, etc.  The fact that you can scale
the picture means you can do stuff in inches or feet or whatever you like,
scale it to fit on a page, get it the way you want and then read off the
real life dimensions.

I don't know of any other tool that lets you do drawings like that, they
are all point and click which I find far less useful.  I like pic because
you can (well I can) look at the code and see the picture.  I find that
very elegant.

At UWisc we had something called xfig that spit out pic but it was really
crappy pic, useless to edit.  Does anyone know of anything that is like
that that spits out pic that you could read?  Or a similar tool?  Or is
pic still the best?

On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 08:04:31AM -0700, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > Ditroff was reimplemented by Clark (IIRC) to create today???s groff which takes mostly a superset of the ditroff input language.  
> Yep.  In early C++ which I found questionable but he made it work.
> One of the superset things is something I got him to do in pic, the
> 'i'th construct.  This chunk of pic:
> 	for i = 1 to units by 1 do {
> 		line <-> dashed from `i'th [].C.s - (.10, 0) to \
> 		    last box.nw + (i/(units+1)*w, 0)
> 	}
> is part of the code that produces this:
> 	http://www.mcvoy.com/lm/sunbox.pdf
> and I could change "units" and have more or less machines.  That's a diagram
> of the first cluster that Sun shipped, code named sunbox, shipped as
> SparcCluster I.  My baby, never went anywhere, but my product marketing
> guy came up to me about a decade later, after Google was a thing, and
> said "I guess you were right about that clustering idea" :)
> Source for the diagram is here:
> 	http://www.mcvoy.com/lm/pic/sunbox.pic
> Traditional troff can't handle that unless someone backported the 'i'th
> construct (which is obvious, right?).
> --lm

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

More information about the TUHS mailing list