David Slocombe

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David Slocombe is a Canadian publisher and software author.[1][2][3][4] Slocombe early interest in the UNIX operating system was triggered by the Kernighan and P.J. Plauger's Software Tools. In 1974, while working at Coach House Press, Slocombe and his colleagues started to work with typesetting software.

By the early 1980s Slocombe had written an improved version of troff, the typesetting program originally written for Bell Labs UNIX systems.[1][3]

Slocombe and Coach House colleagues Yuri Rubinsky, Stan Bevington and Ed Hale would later spin off a new company, SoftQuad, that marketed a series of successful publishing software products, including, SoftQuad Troff (SQTROFF)), HotMetal. Slocombe was Vice President of Research and Development.[3]

In 1986 Quill and Quire described Slocombe as "one of the rare people equally at home with both literature and technology."

Slocombe left SoftQuad in the late 1990s and became a consultant for Tata Infotech, a prominent Indian software firm.


  1. 1.0 1.1 John Maxwell (2013-09-09). "Coach House Press: Crucible of Electronic Publishing Technology". Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. https://web.archive.org/web/20140714164229/http://hpcanpub.mcmaster.ca/case-study/coach-house-press-crucible-electronic-publishing-technology. Retrieved 2015-05-05. "Once the computer could talk to the phototypesetting unit, work began in earnest on software. Programmer David Slocombe worked over several years on the development of a software environment, based on a recursive macro processor, for editors and typesetters preparing text files for high-quality printing. His work paralleled the early development of generalized markup at IBM." 
  2. Iva Cheung (2012-03-31). "Coach House Press as a digital pioneer". Archived from the original on 2015-05-05. https://web.archive.org/web/20131026044529/http://www.ivacheung.com/2012/03/coach-house-press-as-a-digital-pioneer/. Retrieved 2013-10-26. "At this point, the software became key in the process. David Slocombe at Coach House tinkered with the software and got it to the point where it was usable by the editors themselves." 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 John W. Maxwell. "Early Unix Culture at Coach House Press". Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. https://web.archive.org/web/20121024052129/http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit6/papers/Maxwell.pdf. Retrieved 2015-05-05. "Always an innovator in the way he ran the printing operation, Bevington became acquainted in 1972 with Professor Ron Baecker, who ran the Dynamic Graphics Project at the University of Toronto (U of T). Bevington and Baecker, along with Baecker's grad student David Tilbrook, programmer David Slocombe of the Globe and Mail, and Ed Hale from Mono Lino Typesetting began exploring the state of the art of computer-driven typesetting." 
  4. " ". Quill and Quire, volume 52. 1986. https://books.google.ca/books?id=rjxVAAAAYAAJ&q=%22David+Slocombe%22+softquad+OR+%22coach+house+press%22+OR+%22coachouse+press%22+OR+SGML+OR+HTML+OR+XML+OR+TROFF&dq=%22David+Slocombe%22+softquad+OR+%22coach+house+press%22+OR+%22coachouse+press%22+OR+SGML+OR+HTML+OR+XML+OR+TROFF&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w2dJVcXkLpScygSv_4C4Bg&ved=0CC0Q6AEwBA. Retrieved 2015-05-05. "...degrees in both English and philosophy, eight years of study in industrial engineering, and 16 years as a Globe and Mail reporter under his belt David Slocombe was one of the rare people equally at home with both literature and technology."