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Re: "Writing my PhD using groff"

From: Dave Kemper
Subject: Re: "Writing my PhD using groff"
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2022 18:27:58 -0500

On 7/24/22, Larry McVoy <> wrote:
> I don't use the texinfo manual because it
> is very emacs-like and I'm a vi person.

A trick I learned on this list a while back is that you can read the
info manual's content without using the info interface simply by
piping the "info" command: "info groff | less" gives you the entire
manual in the same pager you probably use for man pages (and which has
a vi-like interface for moving and searching).  I read the manual
exclusively this way.

I actually have a script to strip out things like specific macro
packages and the index, which tended to generate false positives in
searches.  I post it here with a couple caveats:
 * This works on the 1.22.4 version of the manual but may not on
others because the anchors it uses may be different.
 * This works with GNU's sed but may not with others.
 * I don't use the -ms or -man macros, so if you do, you may want to
tweak this to retain those sections.

alias infogroff="info groff |
                 sed -E '/^[0-9] Macro Packages/,\
                         /Prev: Macro Packages, *Up: Top$/\
                         {/Prev: Macro Packages, *Up: Top$/!d};
                         /^[0-9.]+ .gtroff. Output/,\
                         /Prev: gtroff Output, *Up: File formats$/\
                         {/Prev: gtroff Output, *Up: File formats$/!d};
                         /^Appendix A Copying This Manual$/,\$d;
                         s/^File: [^,]+, +(Node: [^,]+),.+/\1/' | less"

Deri James has also converted the whole thing to PDF:

I believe the GNU troff manual was originally written in Texinfo
because at the time this was the GNU documentation standard.  This
requirement seems to have relaxed over the years as the people who
hate "info" have vastly outnumbered those who like it.

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