H ? « »

Language peer sets for ROFF:
United States
United States/1971
Designed 1971
1970s languages
Third generation
High Cold War
Genus Layout and display
String and List Processing
Layout and display
Layout and display/1971
Layout and display/United States
Text-display/United States
Image-related/United States
String and List Processing
String and List Processing/1971
String and List Processing/us



alternate simple view
Country: United States
Designed 1971
Genus: Layout and display
Sammet category: String and List Processing

for RunOFF

Text formatting language/interpreter

from Groff history section:
"`troff' can trace its origins back to a formatting program called  `runoff', written by J. E. Saltzer, which ran on MIT's CTSS operating  system in the mid-sixties.  This name came from the common phrase of  the time "I'll run off a document."  Bob Morris ported it to the 635  architecture and called the program `roff' (an abbreviation of `runoff').  It was rewritten as `rf' for the PDP-7 (before having UNIX), and at the same time (1969), Doug McIllroy rewrote an extended and simplified version of `roff' in the BCPL programming language.

The first version of UNIX was developed on a PDP-7 which was sitting  around Bell Labs.  In 1971 the developers wanted to get a PDP-11 for further work on the operating system.  In order to justify the cost for this system, they proposed that they would implement a document formatting system for the AT&T patents division.  This first formatting program was a reimplementation of McIllroy's `roff', written by J. F. Ossanna.

When they needed a more flexible language, a new version of roff called nroff (Newer roff) was written. It had a much more complicated syntax, but provided the basis for all future versions. When they got a Graphic Systems CAT Phototypesetter, Ossanna wrote a version of nroff which would drive it. It was dubbed troff for typesetter roff, although many people have speculated that it actually means Times roff because of the use of the Times font family in troff by default. As such, the name troff is pronounced `t-roff' rather than `trough'."

Related languages
ROFF NROFF   Extension of

  • Ossanna, J. F. (1976) Ossanna, J. F. "NROFF/TROFF User's Manual," Comp. Sci. Tech. Rep. 54, Bell Laborato­ries, Murray Hill, NJ (October 1976). ps Extract: Introduction Extract: Background to the Second Edition Extract: Acknowledgements
  • Gehani, Narain (1986) Gehani, Narain "Document Formatting and Type-setting on the UNIX System" Silicon Press, Summit, NJ 1986
  • Roddy, Kevin P. (1987) Roddy, Kevin P. "UNIX NROFF/TROFF: a user's guide", Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1987
    Search in: Google  Google scholar  World Cat  Yahoo  Overture  DBLP  Monash bib  NZ  IEEE  ACM portal  CiteSeer  CSB  ncstrl  jstor  Bookfinder