[TUHS] earliest Unix roff

Christopher Browne cbbrowne at gmail.com
Wed Sep 18 01:58:20 AEST 2019

On Tue, Sep 17, 2019, 3:54 AM <arnold at skeeve.com> wrote:

> It is like clockwork.
> Whenever I say something about Texinfo *as a markup language* for use
> in *writing books*, the discussion inevitably degenerates into a hate
> rant against Info and RMS's (failed) attempt to replace man pages.
> Totally missing the point too.

Yeah, that is a pain in the neck.

I had the other reaction to this...

I have been managing my web presence via DocBook SGML for a goodly long
time.  It is, as mentioned upthread, pretty wordy what with all the verbose

It would be worth something to be able to edit it in TeXinfo form, with the
lesser amount of tagging required.  (And I'd kinda like to get off of
DocBook/SGML one of these days as the toolset is clearly mouldering away
pretty badly.)

So my reaction to your comments was to look into the usability of
TeXinfo...  I did a wee experiment yesterday, attempting to use docbook2x
to get to something else.  Alas, it seems to want to use xsltproc on the
XML form, and the transformation to XML is apparently a separate pain in
the neck.  I thought I accomplished it, but the XSLT for generating TeXinfo
throws up on it, so there must be more to the matter.  I'll take a further
poke at it later; thank you for offering a bit of inspiration on possible
approaches to change.

I know I can turn DocBook into s-expressions, and then write some
transformation in CL after that; it would be nice if there were something
already written.

For sophisticated material, TeXinfo is of use, notwithstanding notions to
make everything into brief man pages.

Bashing RMS for wanting things from ITS (and probably Multics too) (as I
see elsewhere in the thread) is unnecessarily unkind.  A dogmatic attitude
of "must be short man pages" shifts us to a different Procrustean bed that
fails in a different set of cases.  I for one was kinda hoping for Project
Xanadu someday, to throw a different perspective on that.

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