Re: [dev] Troff for typsetting e-mails

From: Christoph Lohmann <>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2012 15:58:48 +0100


On Sun, 28 Oct 2012 15:58:48 +0100 Bjartur Thorlacius <> wrote:
> Christoph Lohmann wrote:
> > as the subject says, I’m thinking of typesetting my e‐mail in troff.
> I have never done that; I use plain UTF-8. But are you talking about
> writing email in troff and converting it to HTML? Or what makes email
> special, aside from the convention to use plain text instead of typeset?

The use case is to pipe a part of my vim text buffer to a script which
will use useful troff macros, format it right and then output it back to
replace that part of the buffer. This simplicity would allow to use the
formatting wherever I want.

I have part of this done in my justify script which produces the strange
UTF‐8 symbols in my paragraphs [0]. The whole idea would only involve
modifying this to have useful macros and handle all needed other macro
packages, like for examle »tbl«.

There is no intention to use this for any plain troff or HTML output.
This will never work and is not compatible to any dumb user software out
there. For example a good troff table will look ugly in variable‐width
fonts purely because of the whitespace formatting.


Christoph Lohmann

Received on Sun Oct 28 2012 - 15:58:48 CET

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