HTML sub-document references (was # in href's)

Tim Shoppa shoppa at
Thu Dec 25 10:41:46 CST 2008

Phil Budne <phil at> wrote:

> Tim Shoppa wrote:
> > A future project would probably be a way of turning all the different
> > variants of RUNOFF (and the variants span 3 decades at least, 4 or 5
> > decades if you count those who still used it in the 90's and 2000's)
> > into HTML with good invariant content-based subreferences.
> I'm not sure how much (if any) penetration the new fangled "Digital
> Standard Runoff" made in the PDP-10 world.  Other than that, I can't
> recall having much trouble formatting documents of all ages with
> 1980's vintage PDP-10 RUNOFF (and I liked looking at old stuff, even
> then).  I remember finding some TENEX design documents when I was at
> DEC.  I recently regave them to Dan Murphy, we talked about how to
> render them for the web, and I remembered a package I once used that
> reads RUNOFF and outputs troff:
> Sources for manuals probably have directives for producing indices,
> which would be useful for producing HTML anchors.

True, the concepts at the core of the various RUNOFFs are all pretty

But by the 80's in between the PDP-10 and -11 there were some pretty
wacky variations. If the features of the variations are used extensively
they get in the way. I haven't tried making a "universal translator"
in a while, maybe I can muster some time over the holidays :-).

> But the MACLISP manual wasn't written in RUNOFF, was it?!

It was a good example because it was so big, but I'm sure that
like most of the surrounding stuff it is sourced in INFO. info2html I see
already exists, and it actually knows about all the nodes etc.,
which would make great anchors. I haven't tried taking any 80's era
info files and running them through. At least some of the files
in the archive that end with an .info extension are in fact info
files that have already been rendered into something for a line

For better or worse, it's almost necessary to render all documents
into html because if I serve them up with a .doc extension the browser
thinks they're MS Word, if I serve them up with a .mac extension the
browser think's they're some Quicktime file, etc. Mime-types works
with sane browsers but 95% of the world is using Internet Exploder
which decides to ignore mime-types most of the time. Very very frustrating.
I eventually gave up on even serving them up with correct Mime-types because
only a small fraction of browsers pays attention to those fields and
all the others instead give precedence to the apparent extension. At
this point I feel like part of the problem because I gave up on doing
the right mime-type!



More information about the cctalk mailing list