This page is about GenBoard/Manual constuction and basic concepts
You can write any plans or questions here. It is also common (but not a requirement) to join irc ( ChatViaIrc ) when working on the manual.
The framework for the manual is XML.
Main contributors and editors are:
The manual is hosted in an SVN repository. See SubVersionSvn for more info.
Generating HTML files - running xsltproc
Since sourceforge does not support crontab (and we had problems with the cgi based workaround), the new place for generating files is http://www.vems.hu/manual/html/
- Do not use WYSIWYG XML editors
- Recommended editing method is with plain text editor.
- ALWAYS validate XML before doing the xslt
- To avoid spending hours cleaning up tags left incomplete by previous editor, follow DTD formatting syntax!
- If you are unsure, ask for help here in wiki or IRC if you have problems.
Frank, Richb and Peter prepared the manual for docbook. The manual itself is in manual.xml file. There are directories for images, issues, decisions, design/guidelines, etc...
wt2db wiki => XML converter
Maybe [wiki text => docbook] and particularly http://www.tldp.org/downloads/wt2db-1.0.tar.gz is to our rescue. But I guess we'll have to run it manually on small fragments during to transfer process, and copy the result to the right manual chapter.
- manual.xml (mixed wiki and XML)
- removed XML tags (manually)
- wt2db -x manual-frag.wtx >manual-frag.xml
This has been used for conversion. Helped a lot, but work was needed after. Eg. bullet lists seem OK, but tables NOT.
Information below this point is for historical purposes only.
How about [Hieraki]? Combines Wiki with a hierarchy of a real book. Under development; so it can only export to a metadata format right now, but will def. support pdf in the future. [Here] is an example of how it can look.
obsoleted by utilizin a docbook tag:
<simpara conformance="v3.1 v3.2">...</simpara>
- show in example how information relevance can be tagged. This info is used to filter confusing sections at generation-time, eg. by given key-value pairs. This functionality is very important'. If we don't have this, and relevance info is loaded on the head of the enduser (if you have v3.0 than .... otherwise ... zzzz ) and maintenance info is kept separated, there is no reason to use XML (because than there would be more disadvantages than advantages compared to wiki). Relevancy must be simple like:
- <relevant key="board_version" op="greater" value="3.1" > (gets filtered for someone having v3.0)
- <relevant key="maintanance_level" op="greater" value="2" > (gets filtered for normal users that read the manual, not maintain it).
We're looking at adding a [customization layer] for this. This means a DTD so we can validate documents, and more work on our custom XSLT to pre-transform to DocBook. Basic output generation process is "our format" -> parse and validate -> Genboard specific DocBook -> HTML / PDF / etc. Should be managable, but we should document it here before implementing anything much.
Many tags like <todo> and <genboard version=""> would be harder to maintain: the dtd and the filtering must be edited and distributed each time (distribution would work with CVS, I guess). While that's doable, we should use separate tag only for the most common characteristics and use a common tag (like the relevant above) with keys to prepare for several characteristics. I expect 15..30 keys in the mid-term (all will have default values, so the end-user shouldn't care at all: but we need it). To do this properly the attribute keys should be in an Enumeration (as opposed to PCDATA), which lives in a DTD so needs to be edited when keys are changed. The XSL also needs to be edited to handle the attributes and keys so the transforms can work properly. Reducing the number of tags is a good thing however.
<relevant> tags and similar are beginning to look like hard work to integrate with DocBook, unless we decide to limit where they can be used. A "go anywhere" answer is defining local attributes. We can add vems_version, vems_maintainence, vems_feature to the list of common attributes, and this lets us put them anywhere. It's then easy to block out paragraphs, sections, lists, etc.
Basic filtering of the WBO2 section works, but it's still in the TOC for some reason. As as example, this was done with <section vems_feature="wbo2">. wbo2 is defined in an enumeration in vems.dtd. To filter the output, the vems_html.xsl file imports vems_filtering.xsl in addition to chunk.xsl.
Note that this will finally make it possible for the end-user to click his basic setup (on a web-page) and have a customized, slim version of the manual that doesn't even contain stepper-idle sections if he configured solenoid idle. This is the main benefit from going XML.
Split the manual to several files - eg. sect1
Mainly to ease CVS difference
look at task/0011
Splitting XML sources like this is usually done with [XInclude]. Morphon + the built-in Saxon XML processor isn't too smart here, so we just assemble for editing.
In theory, we can use Java 1.4 / 1.5, jaxp.properties, and Xerces-J + Saxon to make this happen automagically:
In reality, it doesn't work nicely with Morphon and JAXP. Bugs either break things during XLST, or Morphon complains about Xerces version. Have tried other transformers too, without success. Where that leaves us is using Morphon to create individual chapters or sections, and either preprocessing with xincluder or using something like xsltproc to do the whole XSLT process outside of Morphon. No big deal as the editing still happens in an easy to use GUI.
- We must be able to link into sections (of a generated html tree) easily. With minimal risk of breaking the link (say when chapter title changes) later.
It isn't a Wiki, but it is doable - [xref] tag can be used for this.
- split newbie and developer info (developer info doesn't go to the XML manual)
- keep information max 1 click from main index (such as GenBoard/Manual matrix)
- matrix as on GenBoard/Manual helps position (and find) information and define the scope of a writing
- the matrix helps everyone to find information
- the matrix helps maintainers to split information
- the matrix helps to check completeness
- so the XML manual must be prepared with the matrix in mind: we must be able to refer to sections of the generated XML=>HTML manual from the matrix.
- at least first (header) line and column in the matrix could have small image icons
- the average user is not interested in how the internals work. Not in the processor, and not in event handling details.
- However explaining the fuel calculations and trigger processing is very important.
- It is also HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you search existing wiki pages so that you dont rewrite something that is already written and can just be cleaned up or added to.
- Move (not copy) info (but leave correct, not broken links behind)
- Make sure that we do not just copy/paste from another source, but rather reword to prevent copyright or plagiarism problems.
- Please also add a link back to the GenBoard/Manual page on the new page
- keep it to instructions only. If you have personal experiences or advise, tag as "User Notes" (?). This will come in handy when creating the PDF file as we will have side boxes which will host these user notes.
With some work and proper usage of tags either wiki or XML can be parsed and presented as
- HTML (for the Wiki) note: http://csszengarden.com/ might be useful
- PDF (for printing)
- YAML (for my configuration program)
- anything else (for everyone elses configuration programs)
I have a [example] of how it looks in YAML. Not saying that this is the best format; but it's a example of a easily parsable, extendable metaformat.
Maybe the wiki should have a plugin so any page could be maintained in XML, and still presented as if it was wiki format. That would allow editing via web, and using advanced tools too.