On Sun, Jul 26, 2020 at 10:58 AM Will Senn <will.senn(a)gmail.com> wrote:
So... I've moved on from v7 to 2.11bsd - shucks, vi and tar and co. just
work there and everything else seems to be similar enough for what I'm
interested in anyway. So yay, I won't be pestering y'all about vi anymore
:). One the other hand, now I'm interested in printing the docs.
Wimp .. ;-) seriously at this step, it might be easier for you as a more
2.11bsd comes with docs in, of all places, /usr/doc.
Well that is where is was in V7 ;-)
In there are makefiles for making the docs - ok, make
nroff will make
ascii docs, and troff will make troff? docs using Ossana's 'original'
So, after adding -t to it so it didn't complain
about 'typesetter busy', I
got no errors.
I mounted a tape, tar'ed my .out file and
untar'ed it on my macbook (did
it for the nroff and troff output). Then I hit the first snag, groff -Tps
-ms troff.out > whatever.ps resulted in cannot adjust line and cannot
break line errors and groff -Tps -ms nroff.out > whatever.ps resulted in
a bunch of double vision. I seem to recall doing this in v6 and it working
ok (at least for nroff).
Well let's just save -ms and troff itself were re-implemented and there are
likely to be some small differences.
At UCB, the command would have been: tbl < input_troff_text | eqn | troff
-t -ms | vcat
vcat(1) was the virtual CAT typesetter using a Versatec Plotter.
Adobe released a source-level product called transcript, that you
recompiled and ran on V7 or later (like the PDP-11s). My memory it was ~
$1K back in the day. Transcript 2.0 contained a number of tools. One was
a CAT to PS converter. Another was the tables for the ditroff to spit out
PS so: ditroff -Tps worked as expected and a program called 'enscript' that
converted from txt to PS.
All of these tools have modern FOSS equivalents, but it may take some
hunting to find them. I think sources to transcript 2.0 can be found if
you google around. I'm not sure Adobe ever officially made is FOSS, but
after the modern equivalent showed up, I'm not aware of them minding that
people did not have the license since it sold more printers with
PostScript. That should just recompile on V7 or later and 'just work.'
The modern equivalent might take some backporting.
BTW: Thinking about this, I believe I remember that there is a directory on
Kirk's CD's that have a copy from UCB. Mount his disks and poke around.
I'll try to look myself but I'm supposed to be helping my wife get ready
for a socially distanced birthday party for our great-niece [we have the
big back yard, tent et al that can handle the 6 foot part requirements].
1. Is there a troff to postcript conversion utility present in a stock
2.11 system (or even patch level 4xx system)?
The word "present"t is the operative term. Probably not.
2. Is there a way to build postscript directly on the
Yes, see above.
3. Is there an alternative modern way to get to ps or
pdf output from the
nroff/troff that 2.11 has?
Yep - Ghostscript based tools which is what the Transcript replacements
tend to use.
I'm still digging into the nroff stuff as that may be just minor diffs
between ancient nroff macros and "modern" macros or even just errors (.sp
-2 rather than .sp or .sp -1, .in -2 instead of .in +2), etc.
Be careful - that's not quite the same. Basically groff fixed a number of
long-standing issues that older troff/ditroff had worked around. Usually,
the difference is that the original nroff/troff has some defaults that now
need to make explicit. But most older *roff documents can go through
modern groff just fine. The more typical error from old documents is a
site that did not have a Versatec or later an Apple Laserwriter and only
supported nroff. A number of documents when created for nroff will look
ugly when you run them through any version of troff (old or new) as the
document authors never took the time to deal with the differences in the
Although, the files display ok in 2.11bsd using nroff
I would expect so. I bet they are fine with troff -t or if you can find
ditroff (which also maybe on Kirk's CD) and then run the output through
vcat or transcript. Note if you used vcat you will get some printing
facsimiles that were there back in the day. The reason is when Tom Ferrin
wrote vcat, the only fonts he had were the old Hershey fonts (fonts have
gotten >>so<< much better since then). So troff is using Wang CAT4
typesetter font rules and Tim is doing the best he can to map that to
Hershey. The PS CAT simulator in Transcript has the same issue BTW. It's
a little better since the PS fonts are better but they don't map the 100%.
However, if you use ditroff, Adobe supplied the rules in Transcript so that
ditroff did its calculations using the proper fonts (Adobe's not Wang's).