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Re: [Groff] space width

From: Mike Bianchi
Subject: Re: [Groff] space width
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 2014 13:42:59 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Tue, Feb 04, 2014 at 11:32:00AM -0500, Peter Schaffter wrote:
> ... What of
> future macro programmers, though?  How many who might contribute to
> groff are going to shake their heads over what to them will seem
> absurd anachronisms and simply move onto programming for something
> unemcumbered by what are rapidly becoming absurd historical
> idiosyncracies?  Is the absolute purity of backward compatibility
> worth relegating a powerful and useful program to the museum?

The fact that I can still format documents I wrote in the 1970s and beyond is
valuable to me, and, should any of them ever become classics, possibly to
others in the future.  So no, do not break groff by "modernizing" it.

The "absurd anachronisms" were once the best we could do.

But that is no reason why a groff2 could not come into being.
After all roff begat nroff, which begat troff, which begat ditroff, etc.

A groff2 that learned from lessons from the likes of tex, latex, and (gasp)
the WYSIWYG formatters while preserving the (to me) essential property of
letting me compute my documents from (sometimes very dynamic) source has the
potential to be quite wonderful.

 Mike Bianchi
 Foveal Systems

 973 822-2085


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