[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Groff] troff syntax and useability

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: Re: [Groff] troff syntax and useability
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 13:36:32 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i


On Wed, Aug 28, 2002, Rob Scovell wrote:
> I am going to ask a radical question here.
> troff syntax is horribly terse. The macros are better, but not that much 
> better, IMHO. I am not a regular troff user but I like what it does and 
> would like to use it more than I do for the almost total control it gives 
> you over layout.
> If my aim is to produce postscript, why should I have to start with 
> something that is more difficult than postscript?

Nothing radical about your question at all, IMHO.  It was for precisely
people asking that question that I wrote the mom macro set.  Check it
out, Rob.  It's a macro set that, as nearly as I can tell from your
post, deals with all the concerns you raised.  I, too, felt the way you
do -- and, because I had the time, went ahead and did something about
> Debugging is hellish.

Tell me about it. :)
> Admittedly, the requests and macros make sense *after* you've learned them 
> -- but not before and the appearance on the page of terse, two-letter 
> 'commands' makes learning troff too much of a memory test.
> I would prefer to spend more time and risk more RSI typing out meaningful 
> requests and macros that would make the debugging task easier.
> Another consideration is that a human editor or author wouldn't want to go 
> anywhere near troff code as it stands. They would be less reluctant if it 
> were clear what the typesetting code meant, even if they were under strict 
> instructions not to monkey with it, as the codes would give them clear 
> visual cues when editing the text.
> I want to use troff to typeset -- not for the intellectual challenge of 
> learning troff nor for the sake of Unix ritual purity.
> But the worst problem is this -- it's not much *fun*.

Yep -- on the basis of the paras quoted above, you should check out the
mom macros.  And the documentation, which contains a number of passages
that sound eerily like what you just wrote.

Peter Schaffter
31, Curé-André-Préseault
Appt. 22
Gatineau (Québec)

A confirmed GNU/Linuxer. Sorry, I don't do Windows.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]