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Re: [Groff] CVS Build Problem

From: Keith Marshall
Subject: Re: [Groff] CVS Build Problem
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 05:03:45 +0100

On Wednesday 27 April 2005 4:22 am, Jim Reid wrote:
> On Apr 27, 2005, at 02:44, Keith Marshall wrote:
> > I'm almost sorry I bothered to mention Jim Reid at all; I had
> > forgotten what
> > an irascible character he is, and I felt rather disinclined to even
> > grace
> > this drivel with a response.
> Personal attacks and insults, especially unfounded ones, have no place
> in this or any other list. And you then have the gall to whine about
> not  "contributing something constructive"?

It wasn't intended as a personal attack;  I simply felt your tone to be 
antagonistic and complaining.

> > I very much doubt if anyone changed groff's build/install procedure
> > with any
> > intent to make it in any way Linux specific;
> Fact: somebody *did* change the build/install stuff. It used to work on
>   BSD/OS. It had done so since at least 1996. Now it doesn't. To some
> extent, this specific discussion is now moot because BSD/OS is dead.
> That said, the wider point about trying to keep groff from falling into
> a Linux-only ghetto remains valid.

Like I said before, drivel.  To even suggest that groff is falling into a 
Linux-only ghetto is utterly absurd.  *Read* my previous post; I develop 
cross-platform, on Win32 and Linux.  I also test, admittedly to a limited 
extent, (because I don't have a full blown development host), on SunOS.  
Groff is not the only package I work on, but it's by far the easiest, from a 
cross-platform perspective, that I've worked on so far.

> I never claimed that whatever changes were made had the *intent* of
> making things Linux specific. However the changes have had that impact.
> [As have most of the examples of feature creep in recent groff releases
> BTW.] This is rather sad because James Clark's initial development
> platform for groff in the early 90's would have been something BSD-ish.

To say that the recent "feature creep" is Linux-specific is completely 
untrue.  Every feature currently in the groff distribution, with the 
exception of the X viewer, works equally well on Win32 as it does on Linux.

> Besides if Linux is now the main (only?) development platform, it's
> inevitable groff will inherit Linux-isms, either deliberately or
> subconsciously. "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem
> looks like a nail."

It may be true that Linux is the main development platform; it most 
definitely *isn't* the only one.

> > If there is a problem with BSD/OS 4.2, it isn't because of any effort
> > to make
> > groff Linux specific; its simply down to a shortage of developers
> > testing on
> > the BSD platform.  Groff is free software, Jim.  It comes without any
> > warranty of any kind, including suitability for any particular
> > purpose.  If
> > it doesn't work for you, you are free to modify it so that it does.
> I did and found that an unrewarding and frustrating experience. So I
> gave up. This is not good for me or, more importantly, for the groff
> user base.
> > Instead  of just complaining, why not fix the problem, and contribute
> > something
> > constructive?
> I'm not complaining: read my previous posting. I  simply confirmed that
> the difficulties I had were on the same OS platform and that my
> attempts to solve them got nowhere. Even though that response was not
> positive, it was constructive.

No?  Well, your tone certainly seems complaining and negative to me.  Perhaps 
it wasn't intentional, but that's how you come across.  Sure, you confirmed 
that you were on the same OS, which was constructive, but you couldn't leave 
it at that; you had to have a whinge, which was not.  If I've offended you, I 
apologise;  like you, I too can be rather abrasive at times.


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