Re: unix man pages

Subject: Re: unix man pages
From: David Blyth <dblyth -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 11:33:46 -0700

Hi All;

>We have the added pleasure of providing hardcopy as well
>as the troff. With our total product line we easily
>have 2,000 man pages.

>For a while we tried maintaining separate source files.
>Obviously not the right answer.

I have to disagree. My old company maintained multiple
document sets (over 2,000 pages each) plus _all_ the
associated man pages. Everything was in Eroff with the
-me and -man macro set - no DTP or Word processors. We
separated the Eroff, tbl, PIC and other files then used
Eroff driver files to conditionally pull in the appropriate
files based on which product we documented.

Over the course of several years, we also built our own
awk filters and C shell scripts to help hold things
together. FYI, the size of the Tech Pubs group that
did the work ranged from 3 - 9 people, including me.
Yes. We met all our deadlines.

>WebWorks allows you to modify or create your own HTML
>tags, which a mapped to Frame para tags. I simply
>created my own tags in WebWorks that used troff
>macros instead of HTML codes.

Now that's a clever solution.

>Although that process worked fairly well, I think we've
>finally found the ultimate answer to this problem.
>We're not providing troff anymore!

What a shame! ;) I've yet to meet the DTP that is more
powerful than the Eroff system that department built
from scratch - though Interleaf 5.4 comes close.

I understand the reasons why Tech Writers have switched
over to Frame and Interleaf (even, God help them, Word6).
A lot of things really _are_ easier and quicker to maintain.
But there's always a price to pay.

My point here is ONLY that Eroff does provide a solution -
and Tech Writers can be smart enough to do all the work.

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