[TUHS] Documenter's Workbench versions

Dan Plassche boomer3200 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 10 11:10:59 AEST 2022

On Sun, Mar 6, 2022 at 6:02 PM Kevin Bowling <kevin.bowling at kev009.com> wrote:
> I see a copy of 2.0 for 3B2 (i.e.
> https://archives.loomcom.com/3b2/software/Documenters_Workbench/)
> From there things get a little less clear, it seems like we jump to
> 3.2 with SysVR3.2?
> Then there is a 3.3 version https://github.com/n-t-roff/DWB3.3
> Can anyone firm this lineage up a bit; and is 4.x an SGI thing or what
> (I extracted the image, the relnotes inside might as well not exist).
> Regards,
> Kevin

I'd be interested to pin down the timeline and the major feature changes
for DWB in relation to the other troff variants as well.  Below is a
summary of my understanding from looking at the changelogs and spot
checking the various codebases.  Any additions or corrections would be

1979 v7 C/A/T troff released (rewritten from assembler into C)

1980-81 v7 C/A/T troff pulled into System III internally at Bell Labs
    seemingly without major changes and released in 1982

1982 public domain typesetter independent troff (ditroff or titroff) was
    the last free release as a standalone set of files on request

1983 SVR1 bundled C/A/T troff from 1981

1984 SVR2 containing DWB 2.0 incorporating ditroff (no postscript
    output yet though)

1987 SVR3 unbundled all troff versions and offered DWB 2+ as
    an add-on package

1988 postscript output added to DWB 2+

1989 SVR4 bundled DWB 2+ (Solaris and Unixware) with changes
    through mid-1988

198907 DWB 3.0 changed font tables to ascii from old binary format

199004 DWB 3.1 retired nroff for monolithic troff binary with -a flag
    for simplified ascii output (for example, tables are not formatted
    for true hardcopy output in ascii format)

I think sqtroff from Softquad was primarily sold from 1987-88 and the
main enhancement was more detailed error tracing with an improved
ditroff output language including early laserjet and postscript support.
I've only seen mentions of sqtroff 2.x releases in that timeframe.

I've been looking for the Softquad documentation and software
without much luck; apparently James Clark had a copy of the
Technical Reference manual (ISBN 0-88910-326-7) that he
used to write groff.


Dan Plassche

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