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Re: troff Memorandum Macros documentation derived from the paper "MM -

From: Mike Bianchi
Subject: Re: troff Memorandum Macros documentation derived from the paper "MM -
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 09:50:50 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

> My own research undertaken for updating Larry Kollar's suggests
> that there were several revisions of Lesk's ms manual.

I was there at the time; mid-1970s.

Michael Lesk's  ms  came out of the Bell Labs research area where UNIX was
invented and refined.  The target audience was the folk inside the research
community and writing for journal publication.

The  mm  macros came from the Programmer's Workbench area where the focus was
on the Bell Labs general population using PWB to write for Bell Labs internal
publication.  A lot of work went into making the output meet the writing
standards of that time.

                A TROFF Tutorial
                Brian W. Kernighan

        For producing straight text (which may well
        contain mathematics or tables), there are a number of
        ‘macro packages’ that define formatting rules and
        operations for specific styles of documents, and
        reduce the amount of direct contact with troff. In
        particular, the ‘–ms’ [4] and PWB/MM [5] packages
        for Bell Labs internal memoranda and external papers
        provide most of the facilities needed for a wide range
        of document preparation. (This memo was prepared
        with ‘–ms’.) There are also packages for viewgraphs,
        for simulating the older roff formatters on UNIX and
        GCOS, and for other special applications. Typically
        you will find these packages easier to use than troff
        once you get beyond the most trivial operations; you
        should always consider them first.

        [4] M. E. Lesk, Typing Documents on UNIX, Bell Laboratories, 1978.

        [5] J. R. Mashey and D. W. Smith, PWB/MM — Programmer’s Workbench
        Memorandum Macros, Bell Laboratories internal memorandum

 Mike Bianchi

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