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[Groff] groff/xml/word

From: Meg McRoberts
Subject: [Groff] groff/xml/word
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 11:00:06 -0700 (PDT)

(I decided to change the subject header)

I TOTALLY agree!  I'm on this list because I love groff; I
spent 20+ years writing complex technical documents with groff
and sputter constantly about trying to do this sort of writing
in Word (or Word-like) tools.

The practical problem I face is that few people these days know
*roff, so if we use it for our documents, everyone we hire has
to go through a significant learning curve, and the generation
that has grown up with WYSIWYG tools finds it extraordinarily
difficult.  If we need to hire contractors to fill in during
crunch periods, it's virtually impossible to find roff-wise

Another practical drawback to using groff for our company's documents
is that one really does need to have a dedicated tools person, or at
least part of a person.  Personally, I suspect the writers gain enough
efficiency to offset this, but it would be hard to sell that to management.

In retrospect, I can see things that the roff world could have done 15
years ago that might have made the current situation different.  But
who knew?

I am working on convincing my team and my management that XML is the way
to go.  It seems that it offers most of the advantages of groff -- but
I still wish I could justify groff ;-)

--- Miklos Somogyi <address@hidden> wrote:

> On 20/10/2005, at 1:04 PM, Larry Kollar wrote:
> > Working down the backlog...
> >
> >> I spend my days writing large, complex, highly-technical
> >> documents in Word for this reason.  It's quite ugly, but
> >> we have to have documents that sales people and engineers
> >> and such can extract and "repurpose"...  And young engineers
> >> don't know how to roff any more than the salespeople do ;-(
> >
> > I've been fiddling with OpenOffice lately. It's not a beauty, but it's
> > sturdy and does a pretty good job importing & exporting Word
> > files. I've literally had cases where OpenOffice had better luck
> > with a seriously gnarly Word file than did Word itself.
> >
> There is a saying: "My wife and my credit card are a deadly 
> combination."
> Fortunately this does not apply to me.
> However, *roff and PostScript really ARE a deadly combination.
> I am sure that this duo beats Word & Co any time by a large margin.
> You stay at source level, your files are a tiny fraction of a Word 
> file, it prints
> in a tiny fraction of time, and it looks exactly how you would like it 
> to look.
> And you can make it into a pdf easily.
> I'm sorry to post an attachment here but I think that an example helps 
> to make an important point.
> Somewhat complex, highly technical, without Word.
> Yeah, you need to learn *roff and PS. Don't you have to learn Word?
> > _______________________________________________
> Groff mailing list
> address@hidden

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