Technology and Trends
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From: faus...@ucbcad.berkeley.edu (Wayne A. Christopher)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <1244@ucbcad.berkeley.edu>
Date: Wed, 21-Jan-87 13:47:03 EST
Article-I.D.: ucbcad.1244
Posted: Wed Jan 21 13:47:03 1987
Date-Received: Thu, 22-Jan-87 00:21:25 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP>
Distribution: comp.text
Organization: CAD Group, U.C. Berkeley
Lines: 8
Keywords: TeX, troff

The one thing I've heard that troff is better than TeX with is tables -- 
I've used tbl a lot and it seems to work fine, but others who have used
TeX's table-making facilities complain that they are not very convenient.
(Are there any good macro packages for tables in TeX?) Other than that,
it's just inertia...  Also, what sort of self-respecting UNIX hack would
use a text formatter written in Pascal?  :-)

	Wayne

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philabs!tg!scott
From: sc...@tg.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <106@tg.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 24-Jan-87 01:24:08 EST
Article-I.D.: tg.106
Posted: Sat Jan 24 01:24:08 1987
Date-Received: Sun, 25-Jan-87 14:39:01 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP>
Reply-To: sc...@tg.UUCP (Scott Barman)
Distribution: comp.text
Organization: Townsend Greenspan & Co., Inc.
Lines: 60
Keywords: TeX, troff

Just some insights on (di)troff:
I work for the American Physical Society (this is a graciously borrowed
id, for which I am thankful) and we publish the 45,000+ journal pages
typesetting them with troff/ditroff and supporting preprocessors tbl and
eqn.  Now let me say these versions are severely hacked to cure some
"ills" with these programs.  However, with the problems found (including
the 4-font restriction of the original C/A/T troff), troff seems to be
the best way to publish the high volume of journals as quickly as we do
with few problems.

Ditroff provides flexibility in the area of output support where we have
to produce output for a VideoComp 500 phototypesetter and an Imagen laser
printer (for proof reading).  Ditroff allows us, with some minor hacking
in table sizes, to support up to 20 named fonts and others that we
"mount" as we need them.  We also have the availibilty of using the many
very well written preprocessors like tbl, which is very important in
displaying tables of information.

Another advantage to ditroff is the ASCII output file it produces.  This
output allows for the output destined for one device to be previewed on
a Tektronix 4014 display as well as allowing some editing of this file
to convince a driver for the Imagen that this is output destined for it
(this is necessary to check page/line breaks).  This ASCII output is
also a very good, quick aid to try to determine what ditroff is doing
without printing each piece of output (which can get expensive).

I'll admit the biggest disadvantage of ditroff vs. TeX is TeX's ability
to typeset mathematics.  While I do not think that eqn was designed for
the type of work we force on it, with some hacking (the only program
that has undergone a near rewrite), we have it produceing three-page
physics proofs on a regular basis.  Without the extensive hacks to eqn,
we would not be able to do this job as well as we do.

In conjunction with eqn and ditroff problems, there are many problems
with accents/diacritics.  Since I do not know how TeX handles these, I
can only say that we have new routines and other additions to eqn
grammar to add things like bars, hats, dots, accute and grave accents,
cedillas, and (before ditroff) creating an angstrom from an A and a
degree-symbol.  I think that the American Mathematical Society uses TeX
to produce its journals, maybe someone from that group could give us
insight on TeX and publishing.

THE biggest disadvantage of TeX vs. ditroff I can see is the requirement
of TeX to use its own generated fonts (metafont).  We have looked into
the possibility of using TeX, but have resisted up until now because the
Computer Modern fonts of TeX does not compare with the Times Roman
availble on the VideoComp.  We cannot download fonts to this typesetter
nor is it fiscally feesable to have Information International Inc. (the
makers of the VideoComp) digitize these fonts for us.  For APS, this is
a big factor!

This is just one perspective, not necessarily correct!  I would be
interested in hearing about the uses of TeX on very high volume of
output also requiring the quality necessary for publishing.  I am
leaving APS for "greener pastures" but would be willing to pass on any
information that might help in the TeX decisions (I am being retained as
a consultant--neat arrangement ;-)).

Scott Barman
philabs!tg!scott

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From: simp...@trwrb.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <1556@trwrb.UUCP>
Date: Sun, 25-Jan-87 14:48:38 EST
Article-I.D.: trwrb.1556
Posted: Sun Jan 25 14:48:38 1987
Date-Received: Mon, 26-Jan-87 02:56:56 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP> <106@tg.UUCP>
Reply-To: simp...@trwrb.UUCP (Scott Simpson)
Distribution: comp.text
Organization: TRW EDS, Redondo Beach, CA
Lines: 143
Keywords: TeX, troff

I have read with interest the discussion of troff vs. TeX.  Many of the 
postings have been by people who have only used one of the formatting
languages.  As someone who has extensively used both troff (and its
preprocessors) and TeX, I have decided to throw my two cents in.
Here is a (surely incomplete) comparison of both troff and TeX.

Troff disadvantages
-------------------
-- Two character command names.
	Remember BASIC?  Two character command names are not mnemonic
and are hard to remember.  In addition, with two letters it is easy to
come up with names for two different macros that clash.

-- Macros are often bizarre collection of symbols.
	Troff macros use a lot of non-alphabetic words and symbols.
To the uninitiated, it looks like a bunch of line noise.  TeX is not
much better, but in TeX at least you have readable words.

-- Troff programs have bugs.
	I don't know if troff itself has any bugs, but the preprocessors
eqn and tbl surely do.  TeX is (probably) bug free.  In fact, Donald Knuth
offers you money if you find any bugs in TeX.  I think the sum is around
$20 now for any bugs found.  Usually the amount offered is a power of 2.
Interestingly enough, since TeX has been out, only two bugs have been found.
It was extensively tested with the trip test.

Troff advantages
----------------
-- tbl
	Troff does tables easily with tbl.  TeX can do them with much more
difficulty.  LaTeX makes tables much easier to do in TeX.  If you use LaTeX
then I think they are about equivalent in ease although there are purists 
on both sides.

-- Pic
	Troff can draw pictures.  TeX can't.

-- nroff
	Troff has an equivalent program to output to an ASCII device.
TeX doesn't.  This is nice.  Unfortunately, besides the obvious things like 
line breaks, troff and nroff output does not always come out the same.

-- Comes with UNIX
	You buy UNIX, you get troff.  Consequently, many people have troff
and learn it first.  TeX must be installed and many sites don't go through
the hassle.

-- Supports many output devices.

TeX disadvantages
-----------------
-- Complex
	In addition to being a good computer scientist, Donald Knuth is
also a good mathematician.  Consequently, TeX has a number of complex
algorithms and rules that the beginner may find hard to understand.
Usually doing simple text is easy for the beginner.  But when he wants
to modify output routines and such, TeX becomes complex.

-- Cannot draw pictures
	TeX is text-only.  This is somewhat alleviated with the \special
command.  This command allows you to insert device driver specific
calls into TeX's DVI output file.  The driver can then read these
commands when it is processing the DVI file and interpret them.  Usually
the driver will read in a graphics file and output it to the printer at
this point.  I have seen some really nice graphics output merged with TeX
documents.  The complexity of the graph depends on the graphics package,
the driver and the output device; pic can only draw with its command set.
The commands are driver specific.

-- Cannot output to an ASCII device.
	This is also somewhat alleviated by the programs dvitty and dvidoc
which were recently posted to the net.  With dvidoc you must run your
document through TeX again before you output it to get the spacing right.
With dvitty you don't; however, the lines come out the wrong length
since the line breaks are already chosen.  Also, with dvitty, you may lose
characters once in a while.

TeX advantages
--------------
-- Can create your own fonts
	You can do this in troff too but not nearly as easily.  TeX's 
companion program METAFONT is very powerful and difficult to use.
It creates bitmaps from algebraic descriptions of character glyphs.
METAFONT works with outlines so it can create a font at any resolution.

-- Highly portable
	TeX is written in WEB (Pascal) and runs on virtually everything.
Troff runs on UNIX.

-- Great math facilities
	Since Knuth is a mathematician, he did the math part of TeX well.
The math looks fantastic and is easy to use.  Eqn is also easy to use
but the math does not look that great and is not as powerful as TeX.

-- Help facility
	TeX is interactive.  It will stop and give you short online
help when it finds an error.  Troff just continues until it is done
and screws up your output.

-- Well documented
	TeX is well documented.  The TeXbook, The METAFONTbook, LaTeX:
A Document Preparation System, The Joy of TeX and TeX for Scientific
Documentation are just some of the books.  The TeXbook is an adventure
in cross-referencing other pages but all the information is there if you
need it.  Troff is documented but not nearly as well.

-- Long command names
	TeX command names can be as long as you want.  Long mnemonic
names greatly ease remembering commands.  TeX is also free format; troff
commands must begin at the start of a line.  Long names are a major win.

-- Supports many output devices

-- Good attention to detail
	One of the reasons that TeX is hard to use is that it is so exacting.
TeX pays close attention to ligatures, kerning, widows, clubs, etc.  For
example, TeX will move the characters A and V closer together when they
are typeset adjacently.  Troff won't.  

	In summary, TeX seems to be better for high quality typesetting
since it is newer and pays more attention to detail.  You can do
anything in TeX if you try hard enough.  It was created not to typeset
just books, but books of the finest quality.  People still continue to
use troff because it comes with UNIX, the man pages are in troff, you
can preview it on a terminal and they don't have or don't want to learn
TeX.  Here at TRW, virtually all of our users have switched over to TeX
after they saw the superior output.  Our site is not alone.  Many other
sites within TRW have experienced the same phenomenon.
	There is one other typesetting language that I haven't mentioned:
Scribe.  Scribe seems to be TeX-like (or TeX seems to be Scribe-like since
Scribe existed first).  The company that sells Scribe, Unilogic, charges
about $30,000 for the product plus a yearly fee.  Consequently, many
sites have dropped it and adopted the free (and superior) TeX.
We dropped it about two years ago and I know the University of Southern
California is dropping it at the end of the month.  Both Scribe and TeX
were written by Stanford professors.

UNIX is a trademark of AT&T Bell Laboratories.
TeX is a trademark of the American Mathematical Society.
-- 
		Scott Simpson
		TRW Electronics and Defense Sector
		...{decvax,ihnp4,ucbvax}!trwrb!simpson

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weyl.Berkeley.EDU!rusty
From: ru...@weyl.Berkeley.EDU.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <827@cartan.Berkeley.EDU>
Date: Mon, 26-Jan-87 16:16:54 EST
Article-I.D.: cartan.827
Posted: Mon Jan 26 16:16:54 1987
Date-Received: Wed, 28-Jan-87 06:56:54 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP> <106@tg.UUCP> <1556@trwrb.UUCP>
Sender: dae...@cartan.Berkeley.EDU
Reply-To: ru...@weyl.Berkeley.EDU (Rusty Wright)
Distribution: comp.text
Organization: Math Dept. UC Berkeley
Lines: 21
Keywords: TeX, troff

One of the TeX advantages that you forgot is font compatibility.  If
you use TeX and stick with TeX's Computer Modern font then you can be
confident that your output will be the same regardless of what output
device you use.  With troff you never know what fonts will be
available at some place until you get there (or ask beforehand).

Another problem with troff that has been implied by postings by
several people is that many people hack on the troff, eqn, tbl, etc.
source code or the macros so that what works at one site may not work
at another.

One of the goals of Knuth is that any implementation that labels
itself as TeX (passes the trip test) should be font and macro (e.g.
Plain) compatible with other implementations of TeX.  Everything in
Knuth's _The TeXbook_ must work.

--------------------------------------

	rusty c. wright
	ru...@weyl.berkeley.edu
	ucbvax!weyl!rusty

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From: da...@geac.UUCP (David Haynes)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: RE: why troff (actually why not)
Message-ID: <505@geac.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 28-Jan-87 08:26:55 EST
Article-I.D.: geac.505
Posted: Wed Jan 28 08:26:55 1987
Date-Received: Thu, 29-Jan-87 01:11:55 EST
Organization: GEAC Computers, Toronto, CANADA
Lines: 31


In a word, DRIVERS.

I have been trying for over a year now to obtain a
ditroff driver for our LN03 laser. Guess what?
Nobody's got one! So I take a look at TeX -- an
LN03 driver right on the distribution tape! WOW.

A number of people have been stating that troff
comes with UNIX. This may be true (although some
vendors charge extra for the stuff) but how many
people have the equipment to use the standard
drivers supplied with troff? How many people have
not hit at lease one major troff stupidity?

With TeX, I get full source, documentation, a driver
for our laser, LaTeX, BibTeX, SliTeX and a host of
public-domain software - for free! I can buy previewers
for IBM and Macintosh devices and can even subscribe
to a newletter to tell me more. If a real problem
arises, I can even contact Richard Furuta or Donald Knuth.

Try to find anyone who knows Troff that well.

-david-

-- 
==========================================================================
David Haynes					(utzoo!yetti!geac!david)
Geac Computers International Inc.		+1 416 475 0525 x 3420
350 Steelcase Road,Markham, Ontario,  CANADA, L3R 1B3

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philabs!tg!scott
From: sc...@tg.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <110@tg.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 29-Jan-87 02:50:09 EST
Article-I.D.: tg.110
Posted: Thu Jan 29 02:50:09 1987
Date-Received: Sat, 31-Jan-87 05:35:14 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP> <106@tg.UUCP> <2986@osu-eddie.UUCP>
Reply-To: sc...@tg.UUCP (Scott Barman)
Distribution: comp.text
Organization: Townsend Greenspan & Co., Inc.
Lines: 12
Keywords: TeX, troff
Summary: THANKS! I know now!

Thanks to *ALL* of you who have told me that tfm files can be generated for
other typesetters!  However, now that this has be answered, can you see TeX
used for publishing 45,000+ pages each year (the real meaning behind my note)?
Remember, these papers have to include pictures (pic), tables (tbl), and 
the ability of typesetting 3-page nuclear physics mathematical proofs (eqn)
in some sane matter so that we don't drive a whole past-up department batty!

PLEASE stop flooding the net/my mail box with info on tfm files :-) now that
I do know about them!  THANKS!!!!!!

Scott Barman
{philabs, pyrnj}!tg!scott

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Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <7592@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 30-Jan-87 21:03:19 EST
Article-I.D.: utzoo.7592
Posted: Fri Jan 30 21:03:19 1987
Date-Received: Fri, 30-Jan-87 21:03:19 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 20
Keywords: TeX, troff

> My question is this - why does anyone continue to use troff? ...

Backward compatibility is a big part of it.  Changing a whole bunch of naive
users over to a new troff macro set is a large-scale nightmare in itself.
Changing the very syntax of the formatting language would be worse.

Another consideration is that troff will fit in a 16-bit machine, and TeX
hasn't a prayer of doing so.  (Yes, there are some subsets that will, but
not the whole thing.)  This issue is diminishing in importance, but it's
not trivial.

> besides there are lots of really simple WYSIWYG formatters around today,
> so convenience seems unlikely as well. ...

"Simple" is the word for most of them.  As in "simple-minded".  They also
have some problems with serious mismatches between the what-you-see device
(e.g. 24x80 terminal) and the what-you-get device (e.g. laser printer).
-- 
Legalize			Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
freedom!			{allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry

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From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <7593@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 30-Jan-87 21:12:29 EST
Article-I.D.: utzoo.7593
Posted: Fri Jan 30 21:12:29 1987
Date-Received: Fri, 30-Jan-87 21:12:29 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP> <106@tg.UUCP>, <1556@trwrb.UUCP>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 45
Keywords: TeX, troff

> 	I don't know if troff itself has any bugs, but the preprocessors
> eqn and tbl surely do.  TeX is (probably) bug free. ...

What about the macro packages, e.g. LaTeX, which are TeX's equivalent of
some of the preprocessors?

> -- Pic
> 	Troff can draw pictures.  TeX can't.

There are now some picture-drawing capabilities for TeX, notably in LaTeX.
It still doesn't match the combination of pic, ideal, grap, and chem.
Troff's strength is in its preprocessors; the program itself is pretty poor.

> -- Can create your own fonts
> 	You can do this in troff too but not nearly as easily.  TeX's 
> companion program METAFONT is very powerful and difficult to use.

There's no fundamental reason why you can't use Metafont with troff; it's
pretty independent of TeX.  The ease of creating fonts for troff depends
on the output device and its support software; in some cases it's not bad.
Note that creating *good* fonts is in general a job for an expert, not a
novice.  (Being a hot programmer does not make you a hot font designer, as
witness Knuth's fonts.)

> -- Highly portable
> 	TeX is written in WEB (Pascal) and runs on virtually everything.
> Troff runs on UNIX.

Which is highly portable and runs on virtually everything.  Admittedly,
there is a problem if the environment is constrained to a non-Unix system
for other reasons -- few sites are willing to change operating systems
just to get a good text formatter.

> -- Help facility
> 	TeX is interactive.  It will stop and give you short online
> help when it finds an error.  Troff just continues until it is done
> and screws up your output.

The other side of this is people who can't stand TeX because it insists
on being interactive, blithering at them given the slightest excuse.
Whether one prefers this to troff's silence and relatively poor error
diagnosis is very much a matter of taste.
-- 
Legalize			Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
freedom!			{allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry

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From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <7595@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 30-Jan-87 21:18:45 EST
Article-I.D.: utzoo.7595
Posted: Fri Jan 30 21:18:45 1987
Date-Received: Fri, 30-Jan-87 21:18:45 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP> <106@tg.UUCP> <1556@trwrb.UUCP>, 
<827@cartan.Berkeley.EDU>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 13
Keywords: TeX, troff

> One of the TeX advantages that you forgot is font compatibility.  If
> you use TeX and stick with TeX's Computer Modern font then you can be
> confident that your output will be the same regardless of what output
> device you use...

Yup, device-independent ugliness sure is a big win...  My impression is
that most TeX users who thought about the choice went with TeX because it
does a better job on making output *look* good.  This means, once they
start acquiring a critical eye, avoiding CMR and using whatever good
fonts the particular installation and device provide.
-- 
Legalize			Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
freedom!			{allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry

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From: b...@bu-cs.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <3867@bu-cs.BU.EDU>
Date: Fri, 30-Jan-87 21:25:42 EST
Article-I.D.: bu-cs.3867
Posted: Fri Jan 30 21:25:42 1987
Date-Received: Sat, 31-Jan-87 08:59:23 EST
Organization: Boston U. Comp. Sci.
Lines: 32


I use troff with the MS macros and, if I can't avoid it, tbl (eqn on
very rare occasion, last time I should have I just typed it all in in
raw troff, a strange form of amusement I don't recommend.)

The documents I am most proud of are those which contain .TL, .AB,
.AE, .AU, .AI, .SH and .PP exclusively, on occasion the mysteries of
.FS/.FE must be invoked and I've had some reasonable results with .IP,
but that's it (tbl means typing .TS and reaching for the manual and
hoping one of the examples will do the trick which almost always works.)

I just wrote a proposal for a heap of $$ without breaking the above
rules, it hadn't really occurred to me whether my ideas may have
been better received in some other WP, I hope I haven't erred. Hmm,
I didn't even use .FS/.FE in that one tho there was one small table
(no rules around the table, that's just asking for trouble.)

I've looked at TeX and even installed it, as a programmer I feel queasy
putting anything through a 10K line monolithic program which considers
Pascal to be its assembler, but you can do what you like, you're adults
I presume.

I do remember an ancient time when typing of papers and memos was
something done by specialized co-workers who mumbled things like
"white-out" and "Courier 12 ball". Back then I usually used a legal
pad and pencil. Can't say my prose has improved much for the change
tho it's nice to discuss serifs and kerning with colleagues, we have
so little else in common.

Cheers.

	-Barry Shein, Boston University

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pyramid!prls!philabs!tg!scott
From: sc...@tg.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: why troff (actually why not)
Message-ID: <112@tg.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 31-Jan-87 03:46:32 EST
Article-I.D.: tg.112
Posted: Sat Jan 31 03:46:32 1987
Date-Received: Sun, 1-Feb-87 15:39:17 EST
References: <505@geac.UUCP>
Reply-To: sc...@tg.UUCP (Scott Barman)
Organization: Townsend Greenspan & Co., Inc.
Lines: 47
Keywords: Stop Reading Glossies!

In article <5...@geac.UUCP> da...@geac.UUCP (David Haynes) writes:
>
>In a word, DRIVERS.
>
>I have been trying for over a year now to obtain a
>ditroff driver for our LN03 laser. Guess what?
>Nobody's got one! So I take a look at TeX -- an
>LN03 driver right on the distribution tape! WOW.
The machine I am now using (and have done some consulting work for) has
an LN03 and LN03-Plus and they use ditroff to output to it.  I don't think
you've looked too hard either.  Open "Unix/World" or "Unix Review" and
check out the ads for ditroff stuff since I think I've seen a couple
of folks advertise they have it!  I think SoftQuaid of Toronto, Canada
has it.  Besides, if you have WWB or DWB source,
drivers are not difficult to write, just use an existing one as a guide...
that's what I did!

>A number of people have been stating that troff
>comes with UNIX. This may be true (although some
>vendors charge extra for the stuff) but how many
>people have the equipment to use the standard
>drivers supplied with troff? How many people have
>not hit at lease one major troff stupidity?
I just finished a driver for a VideoComp 500 phototypesetter for two different
emulations and both programs compile well under 100K on a VAX.  The Imagen
driver (which I had to hack for the environment) handles both host resident
and printer resident fonts and is under 150K.  The font description files
for each in source and compiled form takes up negligable amounts of space.
The disk hogs are the Computer Modern raster files for the Imagen.
Also, how many people can find a TeX stupidity?  There are enough, just read
this news group.

>With TeX, I get full source, documentation, a driver
>for our laser, LaTeX, BibTeX, SliTeX and a host of
>public-domain software - for free! I can buy previewers
>for IBM and Macintosh devices and can even subscribe
>to a newletter to tell me more. If a real problem
>arises, I can even contact Richard Furuta or Donald Knuth.
And, if you buy DWB from AT&T you can call them, or querry this news group!

>Try to find anyone who knows Troff that well.
I am available! :-)

>-david-

Scott Barman
{philabs, pyrnj}!tg!scott

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Path: utzoo!mnetor!yetti!geac!david
From: da...@geac.UUCP (David Haynes)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: why troff (actually why not)
Message-ID: <513@geac.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 2-Feb-87 09:38:43 EST
Article-I.D.: geac.513
Posted: Mon Feb  2 09:38:43 1987
Date-Received: Mon, 2-Feb-87 18:44:27 EST
References: <505@geac.UUCP> <112@tg.UUCP>
Reply-To: da...@geac.UUCP (David Haynes)
Organization: Geac Computers Intl. Toronto, CANADA
Lines: 107

I normally would have replied via email, but this one rankles me
just a tad, so what the hell...

In article <1...@tg.UUCP> sc...@tg.UUCP (Scott Barman) writes:
>In article <5...@geac.UUCP> da...@geac.UUCP (David Haynes) writes:
>>
>>In a word, DRIVERS.
>>
>>I have been trying for over a year now to obtain a
>>ditroff driver for our LN03 laser. Guess what?
>>Nobody's got one! So I take a look at TeX -- an
>>LN03 driver right on the distribution tape! WOW.
>The machine I am now using (and have done some consulting work for) has
>an LN03 and LN03-Plus and they use ditroff to output to it.  I don't think
>you've looked too hard either.

Harder than you think laddie.

>                                Open "Unix/World" or "Unix Review" and
>check out the ads for ditroff stuff since I think I've seen a couple
>of folks advertise they have it!  I think SoftQuaid of Toronto, Canada
>has it.

What SoftQuad has is good vapurware. I have had an outstanding purchase
order against their LN03 driver and ditroff stuff for over four months
now.

>         Besides, if you have WWB or DWB source,
>drivers are not difficult to write, just use an existing one as a guide...
>that's what I did!

And guess what? SoftQuad is the sole distributor of DWB in Canada.
Think they are going to sell me DWB without the LN03 driver which
doesn't exist?

>
>>A number of people have been stating that troff
>>comes with UNIX. This may be true (although some
>>vendors charge extra for the stuff) but how many
>>people have the equipment to use the standard
>>drivers supplied with troff? How many people have
>>not hit at lease one major troff stupidity?
>I just finished a driver for a VideoComp 500 phototypesetter for two different
>emulations and both programs compile well under 100K on a VAX.  The Imagen
>driver (which I had to hack for the environment) handles both host resident
>and printer resident fonts and is under 150K.  The font description files
>for each in source and compiled form takes up negligable amounts of space.

So your solution to everyone who wants ditroff is to write a driver for
it? Why should I do this, when I can get the LN03 dvi driver for free?
How do you cost-justify that? Can you say "business sense"? I knew you could!

>The disk hogs are the Computer Modern raster files for the Imagen.
>Also, how many people can find a TeX stupidity?  There are enough, just read
>this news group.
>
>>With TeX, I get full source, documentation, a driver
>>for our laser, LaTeX, BibTeX, SliTeX and a host of
>>public-domain software - for free! I can buy previewers
>>for IBM and Macintosh devices and can even subscribe
>>to a newletter to tell me more. If a real problem
>>arises, I can even contact Richard Furuta or Donald Knuth.
>And, if you buy DWB from AT&T you can call them, or querry this news group!

AT&T Canada wouldn't know ditroff if it came up and bit them!
AT&T Stateside will help me if they can show me a legally registered
as owning DWB. I can't get DWB, if I did, the registration would be 
in Canada, and AT&T stateside would not help me. 

(For those who disbelieve - I recently wanted to attend a course on
UNIX internals in San Fransisco. I spent four f**king days talking
to AT&T Canada, AT&T stateside, the vendours of the course and 
various other people trying to get them all to agree that I owned
a System V source license and could, therefore, attend the course.
The entire problem focussed around the problem that AT&T stateside
did not have a copy of my license registered in the states.)

>
>>Try to find anyone who knows Troff that well.
>I am available! :-)
>
Oh really? Want a standard troff package that will blow your
ditroff to hell? What to tell me how to fix it. It worked
fine with the original Troff - core dumps now!
>
>>-david-
>
>Scott Barman
>{philabs, pyrnj}!tg!scott

Whew! I guess what really steamed me about this is a) it was *incredibly*
condescending and b) Scott assumes that all the world in the United States.
Now, some of you might like to believe that :-) but the rest of us have
to live in the real world. 

For the record, I do not believe that the sun shines out of TeX's *ss, but
I do not believe that troff (or ditroff) is a viable alternative. And, I
think that, given time and the amount of development effort that is going
into TeX, that the eventual winner of the race will be TeX.

-david-
(From the land of the frozen north)
-- 
==========================================================================
David Haynes					(utzoo!yetti!geac!david)
Geac Computers International Inc.		+1 416 475 0525 x 3420
350 Steelcase Road,Markham, Ontario,  CANADA, L3R 1B3

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Path: utzoo!mnetor!seismo!mcvax!ukc!sjl
From: s...@ukc.ac.uk (S.J.Leviseur)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <2442@eagle.ukc.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 3-Feb-87 15:41:08 EST
Article-I.D.: eagle.2442
Posted: Tue Feb  3 15:41:08 1987
Date-Received: Sat, 7-Feb-87 06:40:33 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP> <7592@utzoo.UUCP>
Reply-To: s...@ukc.ac.uk (S.J.Leviseur)
Organization: U of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, UK
Lines: 20
Keywords: TeX, troff

In article <7...@utzoo.UUCP> he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer) writes:
>> My question is this - why does anyone continue to use troff? ...
>
....
>
>Another consideration is that troff will fit in a 16-bit machine, and TeX
>hasn't a prayer of doing so.  (Yes, there are some subsets that will, but
>not the whole thing.)  This issue is diminishing in importance, but it's
>not trivial.
>

	Come now, I have TeX on an IBM pc, and it's a lot faster than
	on a VAX. You can also get TeX for the Mac, Atari ST1040 and
	Amiga. There may be others, but those are the ones I know of.
	The only one I have used is on the IBM pc, and that certainly
	seems to be a full implementation.

	sean

	s...@ukc.ac.uk

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Path: utzoo!watmath!clyde!rutgers!seismo!mcnc!philabs!tg!scott
From: sc...@tg.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: why troff (actually why not)
Message-ID: <119@tg.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 7-Feb-87 12:20:29 EST
Article-I.D.: tg.119
Posted: Sat Feb  7 12:20:29 1987
Date-Received: Mon, 9-Feb-87 03:10:49 EST
References: <505@geac.UUCP> <112@tg.UUCP> <513@geac.UUCP>
Reply-To: sc...@tg.UUCP (Scott Barman)
Organization: [consultant]
Lines: 102
Summary: Learn to READ!

In article <5...@geac.UUCP> da...@geac.UUCP (David Haynes) writes:
>I normally would have replied via email, but this one rankles me
>just a tad, so what the hell...
I would too, but some classless people have the tendency to attack rather
then comment!

>In article <1...@tg.UUCP> sc...@tg.UUCP (Scott Barman) writes:
>>In article <5...@geac.UUCP> da...@geac.UUCP (David Haynes) writes:
>>>
>>>In a word, DRIVERS.
>>> ... deleted for space reasons ...
>Harder than you think laddie.

Sorry guy, I did mine from WWB 1.0 and FOUND NO PROBLEMS!  I did it
without help from AT&T or anyone else!  I took the d202.c driver as a
guide and went to it!  I also do things like this (programming) for a
living and see no problems (at another office in the orgianzation,
someone else did similar for the APS Micro-5 phototypesetter - NO
PROBLEMS).  With the manual of the output device at your side, you
should have no problems (as I repeat).

>>         Besides, if you have WWB or DWB source,
>>drivers are not difficult to write, just use an existing one as a guide...
>>that's what I did!
>
>And guess what? SoftQuad is the sole distributor of DWB in Canada.
>Think they are going to sell me DWB without the LN03 driver which
>doesn't exist?
And if you would have read the rest, I think I said that you can write
on from the sources of other drivers.  If they sell the DWB package
(which should come with drivers) then you can use others as a guide as I
and others did!  If you can't get the source to the older drivers, the
docuemtation for the ditroff output and compiled device files are
availble somewhere (I just don't know where at this point :-)).

>>>A number of people have been stating that troff
>>>comes with UNIX. This may be true ...
>>>	... deleted for space reasons ....
>>I just finished a driver for a VideoComp 500 phototypesetter for two different
>>emulations and both programs compile well under 100K on a VAX.  The Imagen
>>driver (which I had to hack for the environment) handles both host resident
>>and printer resident fonts and is under 150K.  The font description files
>>for each in source and compiled form takes up negligable amounts of space.
>
>So your solution to everyone who wants ditroff is to write a driver for
>it? Why should I do this, when I can get the LN03 dvi driver for free?
>How do you cost-justify that? Can you say "business sense"? I knew you could!
Can you say no other option?  Can you say common sense?  Can you say
justify the cost of buying TeX, getting it running, and retraining
people to use it?  Can you say the gist of the posting is what can be
done with ditroff?  I don't think you can!
All I suggested that if it can't be bought, how about  writing one
yourself?

>AT&T Canada wouldn't know ditroff if it came up and bit them!
>AT&T Stateside will help me if they can show me a legally registered
>as owning DWB. I can't get DWB, if I did, the registration would be 
>in Canada, and AT&T stateside would not help me. 
>  ... tirade on AT&T source license deleted ...
Sorry, this is AT&T's problem!  You deal with AT&T and you pay their
prices.  This is nothing I can help with!

>>>Try to find anyone who knows Troff that well.
>>I am available! :-)
>>
>Oh really? Want a standard troff package that will blow your
>ditroff to hell? What to tell me how to fix it. It worked
>fine with the original Troff - core dumps now!
Is this supposed to be a joke or did you forget the meaning of the :-)?
You want me to consider a problem, ask, ask the net, just ASK!  Isn't
that what this news group is for?

>Whew! I guess what really steamed me about this is a) it was *incredibly*
>condescending and b) Scott assumes that all the world in the United States.
>Now, some of you might like to believe that :-) but the rest of us have
>to live in the real world. 
>
>For the record, I do not believe that the sun shines out of TeX's *ss, but
>I do not believe that troff (or ditroff) is a viable alternative. And, I
>think that, given time and the amount of development effort that is going
>into TeX, that the eventual winner of the race will be TeX.
For the record sir, *IF* you have read my past postings, I have clearly
said that I do not have experince with TeX and can only relate my
extensive experience with ditroff.  I have, in the past, publicly
admitted when I was wrong and will do so when that time arrives.  Can it
be that you just read the article wrong?  I think so!
Also, my assumption is that AT&T's support is the same (or an attempt of
the same) across international boundries.  I apologize for not knowing
that AT&T Canada has problems supporting their software.  However, I
know that this is a worldwide network and realize not all works the same
outside the US than in the US.  I would assume AT&T Canada would be able
to help, I guess not :-).

My posting was *suggestions* as to what to do, not an attack on TeX or
anyone.  However if you have problems in the future with my articles,
send me mail and I will answer you as soon as possible and let's not get
into a mudslinging contest on the net! 

>-david-

Scott Barman
{philabs, pyrnj}!tg!scott

Relay-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Posting-Version: version B 2.10 5/3/83; site utzoo.UUCP
Path: utzoo!henry
From: he...@utzoo.UUCP (Henry Spencer)
Newsgroups: comp.text
Subject: Re: Why troff?
Message-ID: <7678@utzoo.UUCP>
Date: Fri, 20-Feb-87 16:54:53 EST
Article-I.D.: utzoo.7678
Posted: Fri Feb 20 16:54:53 1987
Date-Received: Fri, 20-Feb-87 16:54:53 EST
References: <362@linus.UUCP> <7592@utzoo.UUCP>, <2442@eagle.ukc.ac.uk>
Organization: U of Toronto Zoology
Lines: 16
Keywords: TeX, troff

> >Another consideration is that troff will fit in a 16-bit machine, and TeX
> >hasn't a prayer of doing so...
> 
> 	Come now, I have TeX on an IBM pc, and it's a lot faster than
> 	on a VAX. You can also get TeX for the Mac, Atari ST1040 and
> 	Amiga. There may be others, but those are the ones I know of.

The relevant issue is not width of data path, which is utterly unimportant
except for performance, but width of address bus.  The PC address bus is
20 bits.  On the 68000 machines, it's 24 (more or less, depending on the
implementation).  The problem is fitting formatters into 16 bits of code
plus 16 bits of data (to be generous about it):  troff, even ditroff, will,
and TeX won't.
-- 
Legalize			Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
freedom!			{allegra,ihnp4,decvax,pyramid}!utzoo!henry