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Re: Question about ?roff on Reddit

From: Oliver Corff
Subject: Re: Question about ?roff on Reddit
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 15:31:39 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.10.1

When I followed the first reddit link a few days ago for the first time,
I read a few contributions and thought that it could be a challenge to
reconcile the discrepancy between the internalized knowledge about
things related to the "black art" (typesetting, that is) generally
prevalent in this community here, not to speak of all the *roff details,
on one hand, and the knowledge level present among the reddit readers on
the other hand, as it came to my mind that any posting intended to be
enlightening might unnecessarily appear highbrow and scare away
potential readers who otherwise could develop an interest in things *roff.

One question was similar to: "Are there any documents typeset in *roff
which I can find in the net?", while a different posting already
mentioned all the books typeset in *roff. But perhaps even Kernighan &
Ritchie's "Programming in C" seems to be a thing of the remote past
(given that it was published in 1988). I utterly fail to relate to that
feeling, but is it really possible that one considers a book written
before one was presumably born as outdated per se? (I assume the age
median in the reddit group to be lower than here, but I may be wrong.)

Yet, something like a gentle introduction about the fundamental
differences, strengths and weaknesses of markup vs. typesetting vs. text
processing would be a good idea. But, so many of these gentle
introductions have already been written, and with so many platforms
emerging (I assume the intersection set between gnu mailing list users,
usenet group readers and reddit visitors is small, but was recently
successfully demonstrated to be non-empty) it is pretty probable that
every new "generic" and "gentle introduction" will miss its target
audience if it is not published where its readers spend their time.

On the other hand, the second, recent reddit link posted here
demonstrates quite a level of insight among the contributors, compared
to the other one.

The only thing that can be done is to post a list of pointers to the
groff site, to this mailing list (after all, it can be browsed in its
entirety without registering anywhere --- also soon becoming a thing of
the past, I am afraid), and perhaps to introductory articles in Wikipedia.

The youtube postings were mentioned, too; that seems to be yet another
clientele. Be it so --- good to have!

Best regards,


On 16/07/2021 14:36, John Ankarström wrote:
Den 2021-07-16 kl. 03:50 skrev Nate Bargmann:
I learned there is a Groff Reddit as well:

It seems to have quite a bit of activity which is fantastic.
I was just about to write this. I am relatively active on /r/groff (as
user quote-only-eee) and it would be great to see some more activity on
it, if there are other people here who have Reddit accounts. It is an
obvious place for beginners to ask questions.

Perhaps I should contact moderator HexDSL about putting up information
about the groff mailing list on the subreddit, as many people who post
there presumably don't know about it.

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