[TUHS] earliest Unix roff

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Tue Sep 17 03:24:23 AEST 2019

On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 12:45 PM Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:

> Yeah, except they didn't create their own city, they pooped all over a
> different one.

peed *vs.* pooped -  one is marking territory while the other is destroying
It is interesting that both analogs work here, however.

There is no defense for what they did.  If they did the
> right thing they would have created a markup language that could have
> produced info files and man files.
+1 and that's why it is even more difficult to understand.   Being polite
and 'fitting in' would really not been any harder than being like Jon's

> ....
> Those who defend the choice of info over man just aren't real Unix people.

I'd maybe say it as they don't want to be real Unix people and fit it with
the rest.

> And that's fine, Unix isn't the only choice, they can go
> run some other OS and be happy.

Frankly, trying to turn a Lisp Machine into a "Unix box" would have been as
much of sin, in my eyes. Hey, I'm thrilled to see rms and his friends can
build and purchase as many LMI box as he would like (But I do observe, the
'technically superior system,' in the end, wasn't very economical).   I
really don't mind bringing things over (like more, or job control, or
command/filename completion that all came from other systems).  That is
really adding value to the new system (UNIX in this case).

But it's just rude to thrust info
> into a Unix system.  And lame because they could have parsed man
> pages into info docs and then they are adopting the Unix way of
> doing things and actually adding value.


As Larry and Jon have said better than I, it was the seemly effect of trying
to replace man with info that I just don't understand.     As Larry has
said if they had made a way go from texinfo to man, even if it had been a
little rough on the edges, I might have grumbled, but I would have tried to
use it.  The truth is today, like many other Unix hacker I know, if I am
offered a new tool but using it means that I am being led down a path to use
info/texinfo, I rethink if I want to use that new tool or not.   It's a big
turn off for me to want to learn to use such a tool since I know the
authors have made no attempt to integrate it into a traditional UNIX
workflow if they have not built proper man pages, much less written
traditional docs.
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