Some Assistance Please

Adrien Monteleone adrien.monteleone at
Wed May 24 15:16:47 EDT 2017

> On May 24, 2017, at 11:43 AM, Geert Janssens <geert.gnucash at> wrote:
> On woensdag 24 mei 2017 17:16:41 CEST Derek Atkins wrote:
>> Michael Ferrara <mferrara1 at> writes:
>>>    There's no good way to translate from Wiki to PDF
>>> Really? PDF can handle hard links within a document. Reference books with
>> Yes, really.  And it's more than just PDF.  We currently build the docs
>> into HTML, PDF, Mobi, and at least one other format.  There are no tools
>> that take wiki content and do that *and* make the results look good.
>> This is why we chose DocBook, and this is why we've stuck with it.
> The other formats:
> Windows HtmlHelp
> On linux the docboook files are used directly by yelp
> Both serve for for tight integration of our help and guide into the native 
> platforms.
>> We've been down this road before.  I have no reason to believe that
>> today's tools do this any better than the tools last time we went down
>> this path of exploration.
> Yes we never found a suitable replacement in the past. I'd love to be proven 
> wrong over this one though. If someone can show us new system that suits all 
> our requirements and is easier to use by non-developer volunteer that are 
> willing to help out, I'm all ears.
> Geert


If the opposite were possible, would that meet the needs?

If using the wiki as the collaboration platform opened up documentation editing to non-developer types but still gave you the desired formats, is that what you are looking for or are there other needs?

Looking over, there are methods using our own render server (or a public one if so desired) and extension plugins to export a variety of formats including XHTML, PDF, ePUB, ZIM, ODF, and yes, DocBook XML. There’s also the option of using PediaPress for people to order a physical bound copy if they so desire.

The only one presently offered I don’t see included as an extension is MOBI though there are many tools to take any of those other formats to MOBI if really needed. I would think it not too difficult to script the conversion of a resulting ePUB into MOBI. Clicking the MOBI download link could take a trip through ePUB and then the ePub2Mobi conversion to serve the desired file. Is there still a significant case for .mobi files due to .mobi only readers? Is there a current comparison of download stats from

An additional advantage of using the wiki as the working and publishing platform is that formats are generated on-demand by the render server. Thus any time someone downloads a copy of the documentation it will always be the most up to date, rather than a milestone-released static version. If that is not desired I suppose some method of drafts vs. published approved pages would suffice, but that will more than likely be handled by control of editing credentials.

The render server can also be configured to ‘publish’ specific collections of articles so that the wiki could contain the entirety of the help, tutorial and concepts guide, developer documentation, et cetera, and then particular links will give you a single file of any one of those. So if someone wanted a printed copy of the help and a pdf of the tutorial and concepts guide, they could get each separately all from the wiki and all with the most current approved edits.

Just a thought.


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