[TUHS] Paper discussing Unix boot process?

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Thu Apr 11 23:48:03 AEST 2019

As my very fragile nth edition photocopy shows, the original Western
Electric copies are not troff'ed and run through a typesetter because John
(like most of us at the time) did not have access to one (and Tom Ferrin
had not yet done the vcat(1) hack at UCSF).  Lions used standard nroff
output - (in this case, originally to 132 column line printer paper I

FWIW: [I would check with one of his former students who might know for
sure], but I was under the impression he used the 5th/6th edition version
of the Mike Lesk Macro's (-ms) that were around with nroff at the time.   I
don't remember how underlining was done in the book, because raw nroff
generated ASR37 codes native, and the ul(1) program would not get a wide
release until after BSD [but it is probable that other folks did something
similar too].  Again, I've forgotten how this all worked, but sadly there
was a time when I used it every day ;-)    IIRC early nroff may have had a
switch to generate line printer codes instead.

Also, the 'memorandum macros' (-mm) came out of Whippany, and I believe
were first released with PWB. They may have been included with the
typesetter C release too, but I don't think they are part of V7.    Eric's
UCB thesis macros, (-me) show up with one of the BSDs releases.

It's funny, I used -ms first then got really hot for -mm  because they
could do things like Lists better and used them until I went to UCB.  But
after doing my thesis I went back to the simplicity of Lesk's macros, but
carry a couple of extra (like Lists) in my personal front end.

Like Larry, troff/nroff still my preferred way to do a large document with


On Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 12:58 AM Fabio Scotoni <fabio at esse.ch> wrote:

> On 4/11/19 1:19 AM, Bakul Shah wrote:
> > On Apr 10, 2019, at 3:24 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> [...] is the Lions book including PS and PDF and in the original troff
> thankfully.
> >
> > Sorry to disappoint you but it's the same LaTeX source.
> >
> >> [Why someone would convert it to tex is a little beyond me].
> >
> >
> > May be someone will be inspired enough to convert this to troff?
> >
> >
> Not to be too negative, but converting it to troff would be somewhat of
> an effort; however, the gains for that seem to be comparatively small.
> It would be a change from one language to another, neither of which are
> a 1:1 copy of the original.
> Even if you had the original troff sources of the book,
> groff, heirloom-troff and Plan9 ditroff probably all have line breaking
> and character positioning algorithms that don't match the original troff
> at the time.
> If someone were to undertake this troff endeavor, aiming for a perfect
> recreation would be the most beneficial (yet also most difficult) thing
> to do.
> I've never seen the original commentary, but I'll assume that it used a
> homebrewed set of macros.
> Thus, the first step would be to reverse engineer the troff macros used
> to typeset the book.
> Then the TeX sources would need to be converted to those troff macros;
> this can possibly be automated entirely.
> Then the matching version of troff would need to be used to typeset it
> (likely via apout and V6 or V7 troff).
> Finally, the C/A/T typesetter output would need to be converted to
> PostScript or PDF (either Adobe's psroff or Chris Lewis's psroff from
> comp.unix.sources can likely help with that; I got Lewis's psroff to
> work a while ago, but it's pretty brittle).
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