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Re: [Groff] Introduction

From: D. E. Evans
Subject: Re: [Groff] Introduction
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 00:02:22 -0600 (MDT)

   This is great!  Excuse my ignorance, but how exactly is one made
   a developer of a specific project?  I'm just curious how these
   things work and what this means -- apropos of nothing 

Talk with Werner, and submit your request via Savannah.

   Myself, I've been writing documents in groff for more than 20 years,
   but most of that was in environments where we had professional tool
   people who created and maintained the macro pages.  I think most of

Yup...that sounds familiar.

   to fix them).  It would be nice to provide some sample scripts, or perhaps

I think this is an excellent idea.

   Another example: I can't remember how to control the font and numbering
   of headers and such.  I remember that there is a line or two that specifies
   the point size, bold/italic/roman font, and the spacing before and after
   the headers but I can't remember how to do it.  Providing a few sample
   lines that produce some common output types would be quite useful, again
   to reduce the learning curve.

This reminds me of learning TeX via Donald Knuth's book.

   I'd also love to have a discussion with you about the relative merits of
   groff versus XML/docbook.  I confess that I have an emotional attachment

I've got into a couple discussions with the developers on the
blackbox list over docbook.  Docbook is relatively new and great
more broad uses.  runoff was originally a type setting program,
rather specific to the hardware it was written around, and now
refocused, if you will (at least with groff), on ghostscript and

I've totally oversimplified my description, but perhaps that will
give you an idea.  Though we often think of troff and UNIX
manuals, in the old days you printed the manual off, not read it
locally, hence runoff.

   I can make for groff are also answered by XML and XML has some other
   advantages.  Are other people interested in this or shall I take this
   off-line with David?

I think you are right in several respects.  roff seems an 'old
timers' app, that is kept around for the man pages and printed
material, and otherwise ignored for more widely used word
processors, web pages, and XML applications that have a wide
variety of document formats available.

I have I got the gist of that, Werner?

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