[GNC-dev] Automatic xml syntax checking for documentation repository

Geert Janssens geert.gnucash at kobaltwit.be
Thu Aug 30 14:21:15 EDT 2018

Quick tdlr: as of today each pull request against the Gnucash/gnucash-docs 
repository will initiate an xml syntax check via Travis CI. This may be a 
first step in simplifying our documentation contribution process for non-

In more detail:
Our current documentation contribution process involves installing and using 
several developer oriented tools like git, configure, make and so on. For non-
developers this can be a high barrier.

I'm looking for ways to lower this barrier. I haven't found a decent way yet 
to get git out of the picture, but the change I have implemented now is a 
first step to reduce the use of the other development tools.

Specifically you can now have github (in cooperation with Travis CI) perform 
an xml syntax check on your changes. This is one of the reasons you'd need to 
install the developer tools*.

How does it work ?
There are two ways. The first one will work automatically for each PR you 
generate against the upstream gnucash-docs repo:
- make documentation changes as usual and generate a PR (more details about 
this are in the wiki)
- this will trigger a test run on Travis CI that will execute the syntax 
check. When done your PR on github will be annotated with either a green check 
mark (if no errors were found) or a red cross (there were errors).
- You can click through to the travis run to get full details. In case of 
errors you can scroll down to the end of the travis output, where the errors 
are usually displayed. An example of such output with errors can be found 
- From there you can go back to your work and implement the necessary fixes.

The second way is to enable this Travis integration on your personal repos on 
github. That way the same checks will run whenever you push commits from your 
local PC to your personal repo on github. In that case you can already check 
for errors before generating a PR.

This message is mostly meant as a heads-up. If this turns out to be useful we 
probably need to document it in more detail on the wiki.



* The other reason you still need these developer tools is for generating 
html, pdf, epub or mobi versions of the documentation for proof-reading. You 
will still need them for this.

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