[TUHS] In Memoriam: J.F.Ossanna

Fabio Scotoni fabio at esse.ch
Wed Nov 28 15:22:06 AEST 2018

On 11/28/18 3:57 AM, Larry McVoy wrote:
> (*) I know that nroff was "new run off" and it came from somewhere,
> MIT?  Some old system, but it wasn't invented in Unix.  That said,
> I've never seen docs for the previous system and I kinda think Joe
> took it to the next level.  If you haven't studied the docs and
> written macros, you should.  It's a pretty neat system.

Kristaps Dzonsons actually went digging for that as part of his "History 
of UNIX Manpages" essay[1].  The abridged version is that roff goes back 
to a number of rewrites, the original being apparently RUNOFF on CTSS at 
MIT.  Source code for RUNOFF and documentation for various parts of 
troff history have been preserved on that page.  It looks 
well-researched, though I have no knowledge first hand.

[1] https://manpages.bsd.lv/history.html

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