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Re: [Groff] [groff] mission statement 3

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: [Groff] [groff] mission statement 3
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 08:29:32 +0100 (CET)

> The biggest culprit is info--a maddeningly archaic facility to which
> Gnu clings tenaciously.  Unless it can be foreseen how new man
> macros would displace texinfo from its throne, the exercise will
> largely be in vain.

I think this is a bit unfair.  Given that info was essentially the
first hypertext system, long before HTML has been in use, it works
remarkably well.  Doing a search over multiple HTML pages is a
nightmare even today.  Ditto for quickly looking up an index.  Using
standalone info (or the info-mode of emacs to get images also), this
works just fine!

> Tbl is a bigger deal, because nesting comes to the fore.  I sweated
> a while back to make a table that contained pic diagrams, images,
> and equations, as well as plain text. The grail remains to be found.

Have you ever had a look at hdtbl?  See groff_hdtbl(7); the
`' example file neatly shows its capabilities.

> Of all the preprocessors, Refer is probably the weakest. One of
> the "parallel galleys" mentioned above, it may profit from some
> architectural support. It certainly needs style sheets--another
> aspect of frontend modularity. I would suggest, too, that the set of
> categories (author, date, etc) be modest, but extensible. Bibtex's
> "exhaustive" list is overkill, I think.

If at all, refer should be more or less replaced with an interface to
`biber', providing an interface similar to `biblatex' so that the
abundant bibliography databases written for bibtex can be easily used.

> Speaking of macros, is there any hope of reconciling the macro
> schemes of groff, pic, and eqn?  Or is it obviously silly to try?

... backwards compatibility...


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