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Re: [Groff] UTP markup

From: Meg McRoberts
Subject: Re: [Groff] UTP markup
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 15:52:37 -0700 (PDT)

> UTP is _Unix Text Processing_.  This is a classic, out of print
> book about using troff and friends.  Recently the authors made
> scanned pages of the book available, but they can't find the
> original source.  They have graciously agreed to let us transcribe
> the book and make it available to the groff community.

Very cool!  So what is the plan?  Are you going to include formatted
text with the groff distributions, use the groff HTML-generation
to publish it on the web, or something else?  Is the goal to preserve
the classic as closely as possible or to use it as a basis for a
book about groff that is written for our time?
> A group of us are working on that transcription now.  Basically,
> individuals volunteered to take a chapter or two and type it in.
> I worked on creating a set of macros to recreate the original style
> as much as possible.  These macros are additions to the ms macros.

So when people were volunteering to take a chapter, this was
basically a matter of typing in the text with some formatting
macros?  I could certainly do some of that -- I didn't volunteer
because I thought you were updating content to match the current
implementation and I'm not up-to-speed on that yet.
> Many, or perhaps most of us just use the prebuilt binaries that come
> with Linux, *BSD, or whatever.  However, some on the list do build
> their own binaries to keep up with the latest release.  If you
> describe the problems you're having, I'm sure someone can help.

I haven't been able to find these on my system -- I'm running
Caldera OpenLinux, and I have the source files but don't seem
to have built text.  For example, I did "locate meintro" and found
the file in my groff-current directory and one in the
/usr/share/doc/packages/groff-1.16.1 directory.  I issued a make
in that directory and bombed out fast.

> Yeah.  We understand all that.  I guess that's another question. 
> Should
> we update things like ``UNIX is a trademark of...'' or just stick to
> the original.

This comes back to my previous question of the purpose here.  If
you really want to replicate the original for historical purposes,
I suppose one could let this stand and add a footnote about the
current situation.  But I'm hoping that the ultimate goal here is
to create a good groff document for our times.

> Now that you've jumped in, I'm sure that people will have all sorts
> of ideas on how you can help.  As I said in the post you quote, one
> thing
> we need is someone to make a final pass over the results so that the
> style is consistent among the chapters.

I'd be happy to work on that, although we should remember the
immortal quote:."A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small
minds, enamored by politicians, philosophers, and divines.  With
consistency a great mind has simply nothing to do."  ;-)


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