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Re: "Writing my PhD using groff"

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: "Writing my PhD using groff"
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 18:58:28 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.9.4 (2018-02-28)

On Sun, Jul 24, 2022, DJ Chase wrote:
> ...I learned *roff through Unix For People,[1] then various online
> materials maybe half a year ago.  The turn-off for me was how
> cryptic all of the troff examples (from any source) I saw were,
> and how it felt like I was always fighting the typesetter to get
> it to do even basic things.
> If not for my strangely-intense desire to do things ‘the Unix way’, I
> would not have continued with troff to eventually find MOM (which I
> now love).

Change one word in the last sentence and I could have written both
paragraphs myself: " eventually *create* MOM."  I'm sure I've
said it elsewhere, but the truth is, mom came about because of my
intense frustration with the state of g/troff documentation in the
late 90s: terse, opaque, intimidating, oft-times ambiguous, and
supremely geeky.  My solution was to write a macro set so clearly
documented that users would never have to consult the g/troff
documentation at all unless they were themselves macro programmers.
Crazy, I know, but when I look at the amount of work Branden has put
into improving the official docs, I don't regret the decision one

Peter Schaffter

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