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RE: [Groff] I'm building groff docs

From: Ted Harding
Subject: RE: [Groff] I'm building groff docs
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 19:50:50 +0100 (BST)

Hi again Larry,

On 21-Jul-00 Larry McVoy wrote:
> Hi, I'm a long time *roff user and recently got revved up about this
> again,my company is doing their docs in groff.

Good to hear!

> I tracked down the v7 docs and ask Dennis Ritchie if it would be OK to
> update them for groff and he said he thought it would be fine as long
> as we attributed them to the original authors (which is of course OK by
> me).
> So I'm working through them all one at a time and I'll be making them 
> available for redistribution with future versions of groff.

I should let you know that this is a project I have been working on for
quite a while, though perhaps not on identical lines. My strategy is:

1. Re-write the Ossanna & Ritchie "Troff User's Manual" for gtroff
     (1982 "ditroff" edition)
2. Write complete man-pages for all the components of groff
3. Write/rewrite user's manuals for tbl, pic, eqn, maybe refer etc.

The above would be build on the traditional UNIX manuals (mainly because
these were so well written in the first place, and are excellent
references for experienced users).

4. Write additional users' manuals (e.g. tips, tricks, methods, ...,
     especially with usable information for advanced macro writing, etc).

5. Documentation for the use of non-groff programs in conjunction
     with groff (e.g. "makeindex" for indexing and TOC, "bib" for
     bibliographies, etc).

(1) above is quite far advanced. (2) has made some progress.
(3) has made patchy progress. (4) exists in the shape of a somewhat
random assortment of pieces. (5) exists in the shape of well-arranged
but not-written-up material.

Apart from (1) (which is well advanced) I'm not envisaging that I
would do all the work myself! Input from well-informed good writers
on any of it would be most welcome. However, I have pretty clear
ideas as to how I would like it all to appear at the end of the day:
this mainly aspires to achieve the clarity and conciseness of the
traditional UNIX documentation, but with more comprehensive coverage
and with more in the way of well-posed user examples.

This is why I started with (1): it structures everything you may ever
want to say about gtroff in a form which is excellent to refer to,
and I would like to get the rest done in a form which is compatible
with how (1) will turn out.

You have (correctly) got Ritchie's blessing for proceeding subject
to due acknowledgement, which is what I planned to do too before
releasing any of this stuff. I'd be grateful, therefore, if you could
let me know how to get in touch with him.

> Just thought you'd like to know.

Yes indeed! Many thanks, and let's all keep in touch on this.

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 284 7749
Date: 21-Jul-00                                       Time: 19:50:50
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