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Re: [Groff] RE: Small bug in groff 1.19.2 footnote number contro

From: Clarke Echols
Subject: Re: [Groff] RE: Small bug in groff 1.19.2 footnote number contro
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 09:17:42 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20070728)

>From HP's "Text Formatting User's Guide" (ca. 1991):

  If the second argument is specified, automatically-numbered
  footnotes begin again with 1 whenever a first-level heading
  is encountered.  This is most useful with the "section-page"
  page numbering scheme.  As an example, the input line

       .FD "" 1

  maintains the default formatting style and causes footnotes
  to be numbered afresh after each first-level heading in a

This was already there in the "PWB/MM Programmer's Workbench Memorandom
Macros", D.W. Smith and J.R. Mashey, October 1977.

So there only a bug in the groff_mm manual page.

I was the "original" author of the HP manual cited.  I wrote a
tutorial for troff because I found the AT&T manual not very
user-friendly, and planned to publish it.  However, since HP did
not have a troff product and only nroff was supported, one of my
coworkers edited and reworked it to feature nroff only.

Elan had a commercial troff product called 'eroff' that was
ported to HP's Unix systems, and HP did not want to compete with
them.  I have found the Elan manual very well done, remarkably
complete, and I still use it occasionally for my groff work.

[I use groff to produce books as well as other materials for my own
use.  One book that I edited is "31 Steps to Your Millions in
Antiques and Collectibles by Daryle S. Lambert (marketed at  I produced a PostScript file from groff
which the illustrator, who is a seasoned and very talented book
producer and graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago, then
used to build the book using PageMaker software.]

That is where the nroff section of the HP guide came from.

The "MM" section of the book is an edit of the original AT&T
document that I edited back about 1985 or 86.  I wrote another
section for TBL, but again, my coworker redid it for nroff only.

I was taken from those projects because of my work on the HP-UX
Reference (man pages) from 1989 through 1992.  Starting in 1993,
all of my efforts were invested in designing and developing
higher quality online help for system administration software

This should help provide some reference background for your
interpretation of HP documents.

I am not aware of any HP troff/nroff manuals that did not go
through my hands at one time or another during their creation
before they went into print.  The first versions from 1985 were
nearly pure AT&T text.  I then worked on upgrading them from
1986-1988 (I took over man pages in January 1989) and wrote
a new vi/ex manual (1987) at that time as well.  The vi manual
was later produced as a commercial book titled "The Ultimate
Guide to the Vi and Ex Text Editors", and for years was touted
by booksellers as the best in the industry.  The commercial
version was changed in some areas to comply with limits on HP's
copyright license from Berkeley that did not permit using some
of the material for commercial sale outside of the HP-UX
customer base.

Clarke Echols

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