Typesetting with groff Macros
Just like the vi editor and gcc compiler, groff is one of the mainstay classics in the standard UNIX/Linux environment. We have seen just a few ways of using groff's extensive macro capabilities to define markup and page layout interfaces that readily turn plain text files into typeset-quality print.
The features covered here are by no means the whole story. For example, groff also includes native facilities for drawing lines, curves, circles, ellipses and polygons with shaded filling. And, this does not even begin to cover groff's suite of preprocessors for graphs (grap), pictures (pic), equations (eqn), tables (tbl) and bibliographic references (refer). As is customary with GNU and Linux software, groff comes with thorough and high-quality documentation. (See Resources for more information.) And there are, of course, active mailing lists for staying current with groff and interacting with its user community.
This article has been aimed at the creation of short documents, but groff is capable of printing works of any length. In fact, groff is likely the typesetter used in the publication of your favorite O'Reilly title. For tour-de-force examples of groff in action, not to mention some of the best books on UNIX programming ever published, see any of the series by W. Richard Stevens. (The late Dr. Stevens is quoted at the beginning of this article from his colophon to UNIX Network Programming, Volume 2, Prentice-Hall PTR, 1999.) Much like the C programming language born of the same era, groff has an enduring and powerful minimalism that continues to lend itself well to typesetting tasks of all sizes. And if you should hear of reports suggesting groff's demise, just remember, some folks used to make similar claims about UNIX as well!
Wayne Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a UNIX programmer and technical consultant currently living in Guinea, West Africa. He enjoys traveling, hiking, photography, Africa, strong black tea, popcorn and baking cookies.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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