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    Kernighan talks about using XML source so that he could produce HTML output someday, but the book’s information page (at least, the version visible on Amazon) mentions groff (the GNU version of troff) which has a built-in HTML output… although I suppose it wouldn’t be as pretty as what you could make with a custom XSLT stylesheet.

    I wonder why he didn’t use Plan 9’s troff.

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      Kernighan talks about using XML source so that he could produce HTML output someday, but the book’s information page (at least, the version visible on Amazon) mentions groff (the GNU version of troff) which has a built-in HTML output although I suppose it wouldn’t be as pretty as what you could make with a custom XSLT stylesheet.

      I never used the html “device” but I guess its just easier this way round (and, as you said, better to customize).

      I wonder why he didn’t use Plan 9’s troff.

      I’ve fiddled around with the plan9port version of troff and while it works, some things like the page dimensions are compiled in directly in that version (I think it defaults to US-letter). With groff (and heirloom troff ) one can set these with registers.

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      Super interesting article. Thanks OP.

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        Indeed I really enjoyed this. Proof that the UNIX philosophy is still rocking hard into its fourth decade :)