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[Nmh-workers] document formatting (here we go ...)

From: Lyndon Nerenberg
Subject: [Nmh-workers] document formatting (here we go ...)
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 18:07:17 -0700

> On Sep 26, 2016, at 5:25 PM, Paul Vixie <address@hidden> wrote:
> let's boost our outreach to repackagers, find out what they need, and provide 
> it. there's a win+win in here somewhere.

What stuns me is how people can write thousands of lines of perl to format 
documentation, with the justification that learning troff is too hard :-P

In 1986 I dropped a UNIX box and a bunch of terminals into a court reporting 
business.  Within two months – without any teaching – the supposedly computer 
illiterate reporters were writing their own macro packages to typeset court 
reports in a format they knew would work much better for the judges and 
lawyers, versus anything I had cooked up.

troff's syntax does look a bit like line noise.  But what do you expect from 
something that tries to stay the hell out of the way of the text it's trying to 
set.  It is the most consistently regular language I have ever met.  And anyone 
who discounts it for being opaque or obtuse is just outing themselves as 
someone who has never bothered to read the troff user manual.

Osanna was a genius, far ahead of everyone else's time.


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