DEC Runoff to any modern format conversion - MORE INFO

Tom Gardner t.gardner at
Fri Jun 5 18:54:31 CDT 2015


Thanks for all the ideas.


Apparently there is nothing off the shelf; I have sent copies of one of the
two manuals to three of us who indicated they would try something and will
be happy to do the same for anyone else.


AFAIK, DEC RUNOFF is only similar to other runoffs in that it uses a period
"." at the beginning of a line to designate a command.    Most . commands
span the single line but some have multi-line and/or multi file
implications. E.g.


Something like

.HL 1 Overview of MSCP Subsystem

Converts to

<h1 style="text-align:left;"> Overview of MSCP Subsystem</h1>

Most of the conversions are obvious but some are a bit more complex, in
particular the 

.require command which apparently assembles the chapter files into a book.

.referencepoint command which is some form of anchor, perhaps for an index
since so far it always seems to follow a HL command so maybe

.HL 1 Overview of MSCP Subsystem

.referencepoint overvw_mscp_sub

Converts to

<h1 name="overvw_mscp_sub" ID="overvw_mscp_sub" style="text-align:left;  ">
Overview of MSCP Subsystem</h1>

With the ID being called from a Table Of Contents built to include the full
name and page number


It looks like a multipass converter would be the way to go.  Anyhow this is
a bit beyond my current coding skill but if anyone else wants to try a
converter I'd like to work with them





-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Gardner [mailto:t.gardner at] 
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2015 10:47 AM
To: cctalk at
Subject: DEC Runoff to any modern format conversion or DEC MSCP protocol





I have multiple DEC Runoff (.rno extension) files for the manual on DEC's
MSCP protocol.  I'd like to convert them to a modern format.  The manual is
dated circa 1992 incorporating ecos thru MSCP23-4 and is revision 2.4 (or

later) of MSCP.  What appears to be an early version (Apr 1982 rev 1.2) is




I've searched for a convertor without much luck,  there is a VMS Pascal
converter at  <> which converts to LaTex
which can then be converted to pdf, but I don't have any DEC equipment.



Anyone know of a converter or perhaps other already converted manuals at

other revision levels (e.g. rev 1.2   at link above)?



If not, anyone running VMS Pascal  or OpenVMS v6.1 (or later) willing to try
a conversion to LaTex?



DECs Runoff is a markup language that sort of looks like an early HTML, so I
suppose I could try a grep conversion to HTML, or just strip out the markup.



Any other ideas?








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