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[Groff] Re: Bugs in groff

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: [Groff] Re: Bugs in groff
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 09:45:08 GMT

   I have a couple questions for you, though, that aren't exactly
   about the program.  First thing, is there a easy way using groff to
   get the system manual pages into HTML?

   There is an awk script floating about that someone has put together
   that can do this - but it kind of does it after-the-fact and the
   man pages come out looking something like a html-ized version of
   the terminal man pages.  What I'd really like is some way to take
   the formatted input and get html, preserving the layout.  I tried
   something like cat man.1 | groff -Thtml and I get html out all
   right but the formatting is awful.

The call would be rather

  cat man.1 | groff -man -Thtml > man.html

This driver is work in progress and still has a lot of bugs.  But
eventually it should do what you want.  Bug fixes are highly welcome.

For the moment, you may also try unroff:

   The other question I had is that I want to write a man page for a
   program, and I was wondering if there was a easier way of doing it
   than using a template and vi.  I've done it that way before and the
   man page that results is fine, but I really wonder if the original
   intent of the Unix document formatting system was to have people
   key in the codes by hand.  Particularly with X-windows out for as
   long as it is, certainly there was something that was included at
   one time.  I remember reading something about a "documentors
   workbench" that AT&T used to include with their source - but Sun
   doesn't seem to include anything like that nor does FreeBSD.

Good question.  You may try the CTAN archives (say `finger
address@hidden' to get a list of mirrors) to search for a
latex2troff converter; then you could use e.g. LyX...

Specific for writing groff I don't know an integrated environment for
doing this.

   Today with the emphasis on html it seems that everyone is looking
   at groff and the utilities that come with it as a way of getting
   "legacy" stuff into html, and it seems like all new documentation
   is in html.  The problem with that is that html only looks good on
   a web browser, and there is no easy way (that I can tell) to go
   "backwards" in other words take html and get it back into mandoc
   format or something like that.

Another possibility is to write your documentation with texinfo.  In
my SuSE distribution I have modules like texi2dvi, texi2html,
texi2roff, and texi2pdf.


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