Re: Formats for cross-platform documentation

Subject: Re: Formats for cross-platform documentation
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 08:37:58 -0700

Colin Ramsden wrote:

> ...As well you know, TROFF (The Text Processor for Typesetters)
> is an XML tool for text processing and as such falls under the
> general category of XML technology.

I don't know that at all. That's why I asked.

> What's your problem with my description?

I think it was wrong.


> Troff was originally written by the late Joe Ossanna in about 1973,
> in assembly language for the PDP-11, to drive the Graphic Systems CAT
> typesetter. It was rewritten in C around 1975, and underwent slow but
> steady evolution until Ossanna's death late in 1977.
> In 1979, Brian Kernighan modified troff so that it would produce output
> for a variety of typesetters, while retaining its input specifications.
> Over the decade from 1979 to 1989, the internals have been modestly
> revised, though much of the code remains as it was when Ossanna wrote it.
> -- Taken from the Troff User's Manual.

From (one of many "history of XML" hits on Google):

> 1996, discussions began which focused on how to define a markup
> language with the power and extensibility of SGML but with the simplicity
> of HTML. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) decided to sponsor a group
> of SGML gurus including Jon Bosak from Sun.
> ...Over the next few years, XML evolved... By mid 1997 The eXtensible
> Linking Language XLL project was underway and by the summer of 1997,
> Microsoft had launched the Channel Definition Format (CDF) as one of the
> first real-world applications of XML.
> Finally, in 1998, the W3C approved Version 1.0 of the XML specification
> and a new language was born.

Please explain how troff (written in 1973 as a way to embed text formatting and other instructions for typesetting equipment) is related to XML (conceived in 1996 as way of identifying content elements and their interrelationships).



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