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Re: [Groff] Introduction

From: Robert Goulding
Subject: Re: [Groff] Introduction
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 08:27:37 -0500

On Oct 24, 2005, at 3:30 AM, Keith MARSHALL wrote:

Werner Lemberg wrote, quoting Larry McVoy:
And as the primary whiner on this topic, I'll volunteer to do the
work to convert the existing texinfo docs to roff.

This is a great offer, but I wonder whether it makes sense to use
the time you are willing to invest in a better way.

 . I won't give up on groff.texinfo.  This consequently means that we
   need a groff2texinfo converter (or groff2info to get the more
   important info files) in case the source files are in groff
   format.  Personally, I *really* like the indexing features of
   `info' which are quite powerful.  I'm not aware of a different
   indexing system which is freely available (but I must admit that I
   haven't done an extensive search).

   Writing such a script/program might be easy, but it probably
   doubles the amount of time needed for a proper conversion.

It isn't difficult to conceive a groff macro package, which, when used
with `groff -Tascii -mroff2txi` for example, would spit out texinfo

Indeed, before I embarked on the development of pdfmark.tmac, I did
create a rudimentary implementation, mimicking a subset of the ms
macros, which would do just that.  As proof of concept, it worked, but
the eventual output from texinfo, formatted as either PDF or HTML, was
of such disappointing quality, that I abandoned the idea.

Why go to texinfo, rather than directly to info? What we could have is a 'roffinfo' macro set, which outputs as follows:

groff -Tascii -mroffinfo -> info format [there would be a device test at the beginning - ascii would always spit out info, not terminal-formatted text]

groff -Tps -mroffinfo -> properly formatted Postscript

groff -Thtml -mroffinfo -> With the proper switches to grohtml, a set of webpages, one for each node

This does mean, of course, that we would have to replicate some of texinfo's functionality within the macro package - keeping track of cross-references and indexing, especially. So perhaps that's too much of a duplication of effort.


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