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This is my blog, named for an old New York Lottery marketing slogan.

14 June 2018

DIY Typesetting and Document Processing with groff and mom

I want to start typesetting my own novels and stories so I can publish them myself, but I don’t want to use LaTeX. I don’t mean any disrespect to the people who worked on it, but LaTeX is probably overkill for my purposes and despite having, reading, and understanding Leslie Lamport’s book I have never managed to produce good output.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative. They didn’t have TeX or LaTeX at Bell Labs. They had troff. If it was good enough for Brian Kernighan, Dennis Ritchie, Rob Pike, etc. then there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to use it. Of couse, troff doesn’t seem to be part of the OpenBSD base system.

No matter. There’s a port and package for the GNU version of troff, groff. And it includes an interesting macro package called mom.

The MOM macros for GNU troff (groff) look like they might be straightforward. The online documentation certainly makes sense.

I’ll have to give this a try, and see if I can put together a little anthology: The Milgram Battery and others.