[TUHS] The (un)importance of roff

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Tue Dec 4 02:42:20 AEST 2018

On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 11:31 AM Doug McIlroy <doug at cs.dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> it was speculated that without roff there might be no Unix.
> Old hands will be familiar with the story.

Doug - thank you for retelling the story.   As you say, older hand knew
it.  FWIW:   It's one of my examples of when I try to explain my
observation UNIX became self-sustaining because "Simple Economics always
beats Sophisticated Design"

The key point is that UNIX obtained >>users<< (customers) because it
inexpensively did what people needed to do when they had not other way ->>
"simple economics."  But it had to be based on solid foundations.  Just
being "cheap" is not good enough.  It has be "useful."  UNIX found 'users'
that needed what it brought them.

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