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Re: "Writing my PhD using groff"

From: Larry McVoy
Subject: Re: "Writing my PhD using groff"
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2022 13:57:38 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

On Sun, Jul 24, 2022 at 08:42:32PM +0000, DJ Chase wrote:
> On Sun Jul 24, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > Am I the only person who thinks that have *roff documentation in a different
> > markup is crazy?
> >
> > I wrote a couple source management systems, this is like I was storing
> > BitKeeper in Git.  That says I trust Git but not my own code.
> >
> > Has anyone proposed redoing the texinfo stuff in Groff?  If not, why not?
>   1. People might need to read the documentation for a format???s tools
>      before they can read files in that format (this isn???t the case for
>      Groff specifically, but a manual page isn???t always the best
>      introduction)

All of the original documentation for the Unix [nt]roff were written in
troff.  I don't remember any man pages, it was all papers, there was 
the [nt]roff paper, one for eqn, another for pic, another for tbl,
one for each of the macro packages.  I still have the set of them
that I bought at the UW-Madison computing store around 1982.

There may have been man pages but that would have just been about how
you called the various programs.

>   2. Some people prefer different formats and might be more inclined to
>      use a tool if it???s documented in a format accessible to them

Yeah, couldn't agree more.  I don't use the texinfo manual because it
is very emacs-like and I'm a vi person.  The fact that groff docs are in
texinfo in no way helps groff, it means that information isn't available
to much of groff's target audience.  It makes no sense to me.

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