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Re: [Groff] troff(1) and info

From: T. Kurt Bond
Subject: Re: [Groff] troff(1) and info
Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2001 10:27:57 -0500 (EST)

Ralph Corderoy writes:
> Wasn't info created because there wasn't a free troff?  Or is that a
> myth?

The GNU Project choose to use TeX for its typesetting software because
TeX was free and there were no free alternatives at the time.  The
Texinfo macro package for TeX was created so that the TeX could be
used to produce printed documentation and other programs could produce
online Info documentation from the same source files.

Info itself dates back at *least* to the original emacs, as mentioned
in MIT AI Memo 519a from 26 March 1981:

in section 2.6, "Editing Other Things".  The orignal emacs, of course,
ran on ITS, and was first operational in 1976.

So the GNU Project's choice of Info for their on-line documentataion
probably *was* influenced by the lack of a free troff, but the
creation of Info itself long predates the GNU Project.

BTW, there is a texi2roff program that translates Texinfo to troff,
but it's unmaintained.

That site mentions that adding troff output to makeinfo might be a
superior alternative to texi2roff.  

T. Kurt Bond, address@hidden

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