wyswyg editors for tex (was re: replacement for openoffice)

Frank Jahnke jahnke at sonatabio.com
Tue Oct 9 17:56:02 PDT 2007

> Can you explain the difference between troff and groff.  I thought
> groff is the more useable troff, or do I have that backwards, or is
> that only a fbsd replacement?

troff is the old Unix utility that drove a C/A/T typesetter.  That was a
real liability -- not everyone has a typesetter -- so it later was
extended as ditroff (or titroff -- really!): device (or typesetter)
independent troff.  There were also a few commercial packages that
extended basic troff to cover more devices.

groff was an independent recoding of the entire troff family by James
Clark; the first release was in 1990.  It has useful extensions to troff
(like picture inclusion and ease of mounting more fonts), but it is
code-compatible with troff.

These days troff is dead, and everyone uses groff.  I refer to it as
troff primarily for historical reasons -- the comparison with TeX
originated with troff in the old days -- though it is not quite accurate
given how it is used currently.

If you have never seen phototype from a C/A/T device, you are missing
something,  While not as good as the commercial typesetters that drove
Mergenthalers, the quality is stunning.  What we have now on laser
printers is a very poor cousin of the original.

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