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Re: [Groff] Bugs in grohtml

From: Robert D. Goulding
Subject: Re: [Groff] Bugs in grohtml
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 14:52:42 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 29 May 2003, Gaius Mulley wrote:

> I'll wear my asbestos jacket and dare to ask whether the excellent
> documentation for mom is likely to appear in info format?  Or how
> difficult would it be to translate it into info?

With no disrespect for texinfo or the hard work of its maintainers, and
donning my own protective goggles, I would love to see all groff
documentation written with groff, especially the groff texinfo file.
Using a TeX-based documentation format makes it seem that we don't have
confidence in groff.  More importantly, however, it adds another
dependency.  I was frustrated a while back trying to compile the CVS groff
for Mac OS X, when fink (unix utils for OS X) had not yet upgraded to the
latest texinfo, and the texinfo source itself would not compile without
the magic of the fink-team.

As I see it, the documentation could come as a single groff file using,
say, the -ms macro set with the -mwww macros and, I'm sure, many new
macros.  Embedded in the file would be comments:

.\" SPLIT HERE: groff-reference.html

or something like that.  In the standard build, a shell script would split
up the file and feed it piece by piece to groff -Thtml; only the html
files would be installed by default.  Since lynx is available for every
platform, this format would be universally readable.  (There would also be
an option, of course, to make postscript output).

It would be a big job, first to come up with a set of macros and scripts
to approach the functionality of texinfo; and then to convert a portion,
at least, of the groff.texinfo file to groff.groffinfo to gauge how people
here like it.  Does this idea grab anyone else?  I'd be happy to have a go
at it, if one or two others would like to join in to make up my
(many) deficiencies!


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