groff my.txt >my.ps
and out comes a formatted file ready to print. The system is very small. You can contain it as a tar archive on one single floppy and it is very capable and actually it was through the Groff mailing list that my attention was drown to yet an other possibility for typesetting in Linux. The possibility that this text is about. Direct PostScript for typesetting.
PostScript is a programming languish like C or Perl or Java. That, in it self is, scarring at lest for me, but some good people have programmed small routines in PostScript that sort of built a word processor inside the PostScript program. or put in other words, you have the word processor inside your document. It is lot of pre-programmed PostScript routines that you can call with a single word or a small letter combination so you have a mark-up-languish. You have the source code of your word processor laying visible together with the source code for your final printout in one plain text file. I think that this is a quit fascinating construction. So you open your PostScript program in your favourite text editor and you are faced with the source code of everything you got; The coding's for the mark-up-languich that you copied in to to the file, the fonts that you using represented as endless lines of numbers or as postscript coding, any images that you use again represented as endless lines of numbers. That means you will have to find the right place in between all this coding to start typesetting your document, but once you have found that place everything is quit simple if you use this pre-build routines that I have talked about. You type in your text in berries and follow that with a single character or two to decide on the justification you want for that text. Like this:
(A long paragraph with several lines ) w
Will come out "word wrapped" to the printer or to "ghostview" (GV) All you will need to have on your BL system is Ghostscript (GS), the gs-font and GV (remember GS comes in two versions in SW 4 one for svga and one fore X11). One very special thing about direct PostScript typesetting is that you are platform independent. If your old laptop breaks and you have the file on floppy you can take your floppy to the public library and use a windows machine (actually I don't know how you preview PostScript in windows but there must be some adobe program that does this. And then the typesetting (images setting) capability of direct PostScript typesetting is fare more powerful then for instance Abiword. It is like having Adobe Pagemaker on your small BL system, but then you will have to get in to real PostScript programming.
I have followed this book written by David Byram-Wigfield to set up my own formatting codes.
I have a separate page devoted to Basiclinux application and customisation
Of-topic note of the editor AE: AE (Anthony's Editor) is my favourite editor for Linux console it is a simple and easy editor. I made a separate page about the editor AE and how to install it:
Note for Danish readers abort a good Danish book on PostScrit programming:
Der findes en rigtig god dansk bog om PostScript programmering. Den er fra 1990. Den er skrevet af en forfatter som også skriver digte og romaner og har en lidt anden stil end sådan tørre teknik bøger. Den er bygget op over en masse konkrete eksempler som forklares. Forfatteren hedder Erwin Neutzsky-Wulf. Bogen hedder Postscript programmering, forlag Borgen, ISBN 87-418-8940-1. Den kan bestilles til dit lokale bibliotek. Tak til Martin Møller Pedersen fra 'sslugs' forum for at oplyse mig om eksistensen af denne bog.