Subject: Re: Compiling NetBSD with another compiler.
To: None <>
From: Anders Magnusson <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/06/2007 10:43:12
Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 04, 2007 at 07:59:59PM +0200, Anders Magnusson wrote:
>> Actually, I fixed the old nroff/troff back in 2002 so that it supported 
>> most of the
>> groff extensions (except .while).  I have the source code if someone 
>> wants it,
>> unfortunately I based it on 4.4 encumbered, but it should be trivial to 
>> be constructive
>> with diff to remove those additions.
> The real problem is that there's no convenient way to use traditional roff
> (as opposed to ditroff) to generate PostScript output, or output for the
> other printers supported by our in-tree groff.  Adobe had a dreadful hack
> that translated C/A/T typesetter language to PostScript but it's definitely
> not open-source and it's just the wrong approach besides.
It isn't especially difficult to change the orig troff output to 
I took a small look at it when I was dealing with it and realized that 
it would
be simple.  Writing dpost is more job though :-)

But, how difficult can it be? :-)

-- Ragge
> Unfortunately I think if you investigate the licensing on ditroff you will
> find that it is a quagmire (done as a separate project _not_ under any of
> the standard Unix licenses at AT&T, then with commercial rights sold to an
> outside entity).  What would be needed to really replace groff without
> losing functionality we actually use (e.g. man pages -> postscript) would
> be a new ditroff implementation, in C, and a PostScript backend like grops.