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Re: [Groff] troff syntax and useability

From: David Given
Subject: Re: [Groff] troff syntax and useability
Date: 30 Aug 2002 17:43:33 +0100

On Thu, 2002-08-29 at 23:54, Peter Schaffter wrote:
> Interesting, in that we're on the same track.  mom, too, tries to
> "wrap" the details of troff markup.  And in document processing, to
> make it possible to "just write" and have groff "just work."  (mom uses
> the .PP macro to begin paras, but a simple .blm PP makes double-spaced
> paragraphs in a text editor a perfectly workable option.)

Unfortunately, this means that putting blank lines between, say, macro
definitions inserts annoying extra paragraph breaks. As I'm a great
believer in the use of white space to clarify code, I eventually decided
to have .BODY and ./BODY macros that enclosed body text. Blank lines
were only significant inside a BODY block, which I think is a good

> And within the limitations of groff, mom does a pretty good job with
> "automatic" underlining/italics.  Mind you, I still wouldn't mind a
> groff request that simply underlines type.  In other words, .ul means
> "underline" regardless of how groff's invoked.

I haven't even *begun* to look at underlining...

> Unfortunately, Quoin proved too buggy and we had to scrap it, but I've
> always wondered why this obvious solution to the "which is better --
> WYSIWYG page layout or Unix-style text processing" hasn't been pursued.

Check out Amaya. It's not a typesetter, it's an HTML editor, but it
allows you to have the WYSIWYG view on the left and a tree-style
structured view of your source on the right, and they're both live and

Anyway, the main reason I did meta, such as it is, is because *I* want
to use it. I want something I can write on on all different kinds of
platforms that's simple, does what I want, is easily translatable
to/from different formats, etc. Of course, having got it to a useable
point, I now have to do something with it...

+- David Given --McQ-+ "Est brilgum: toui slimici
|  address@hidden    | In uabo tererotitant
| (address@hidden) | Brogoui sunt macresculi
+- --+ Momi rasti strugitant." --- Anonymous

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