[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: [Groff] Training site.

From: Ted Harding
Subject: RE: [Groff] Training site.
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 11:12:15 +0100 (BST)

On 17-Oct-99 Eddie Maddox wrote:
> I am setting up a web site that would host training/tutoring/analyzing
> workshops for various things.
> Since I am having to research scripting utilities, etc. for my web site
> I thought the first topic I could host would be web site design,
> construction, operation and maintenance (O&M).
> Is there already some online support for Groff?

The whole issue of groff documentation and support is in a very
primitive state, and has been since groff first came out. Basically,
if you already knew one of the later UNIX troffs, you could work
out most of groff from its own very minimal documentation, which
chiefly covered differences from UNIX troff.

One of our long-term plans is to change that, and bring out a
self-contained documentation suite for groff. This is not a small task,
and although quite a bit of work has been done on it already you
should not expect to see the results soon.

> How does it compare to, or compliment, say, m4, Python, etc. for web
> site use?

Groff is purely a document formatting package. A new extension
to produce HTML output is being developed by Gaius Mulley (it implements
a new "device"). So far, the results are reasonably good but they are
purely "static" HTML. Groff has at present no built-in provision for
producing "dynamic" output, though in the long run I don't see why
it shouldn't be able to plant Java code in HTML output, for instance
(just as it can now plant raw PostScript in the output for a PS device).

On the other hand, if your web site has dynamic content which would allow
the user to enter groff source text (e.g. a maths student types in the
"eqn" representation of an equation in answer to a test question) the
web page itself could run groff on it and display the answer (this
would currently be possible with Gaius Mulley's extension), maybe
along with displaying the answer which the instructor had prepared
previously so that the student could compare. This sort of thing is
definitely possible. Some university departments now do this sort
of thing with TeX, quite successfully.

But groff is in no way a programming language comparable with m4
or python, and would not of itself support web-page interactivity in a
more general sense.

> Will hardcopy manuals, etc. be available from any vendor? I would like
> to consider them as class texts. Then readers can ask questions, get
> clarifications, etc., from each other. They can also exchange scripts.
> I could mirror some favorites.

As indicated above, this would become possible once the "groff
documentation project" had achieved something substantial.


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Date: 17-Oct-99                                       Time: 11:12:15
------------------------------ XFMail ------------------------------

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]