troff and family, is there anything you can’t do?

I’ve been thinking of writing an article on some of my tactical experiences for whatever value they may offer, and as such the obvious question would arise: what to write it in?

Anyone who says Microsoft Word or some variant of that light, you can go stand in the corner right now 😛

Most of my documents lately have been done in POD, since I’ve only been writing Plain Old software Documentation over the past couple months. Normally for regular documents, I just use LaTeX. I have also been contemplating learning more about the more ‘black magic where few people care to thread’ parts of LaTeX, really I’d like to dig up a few books on it as well, but hey, whose got that kind of cash? (I wonder if the local library has anything on mathematics worth a fart: typesetting in LaTeX with or without an air on the math side is not there either.) But I also have a soft spot for troff / nroff: I rarely use it, even for manual pages if it can be avoided. Yet I really like troff, even raw troff. It would be a perfect excuse to study the ms macro package and possibly even take the time to learn how to use pic!

The question I posed to myself, was how would I go about handling references in troff? I know it is possible, just couldn’t remember how: so googled for

bibliography system for troff

. That lead me to a paper named ‘Some Applications of Inverted Indexes on the UNIX System.’, written by M. E. Lesk. So far that seems to be quite simple and would get the job done fairly easy.

The only thing I am used to, is working with Bibtex. So the whole refer thing is not too alien to me.

If it wasn’t for technology like TeX/LaTeX, troff/nroff, POD, ReST, Texinfo, or various Docbook/SGML/XML type stuff — I would likely use plain text and [ab]use the C Pre Processor from my C compiler in order to implement simple textual macros xD. There is no ‘perfect’ system in my eyes but POD is my favorite… (Hmm, I really should look at MOD someday!)

Yeah, obviously I am not a fan of word processors: despite having used them heavily for years.