Subject: XML? was: Re: HTML man pages (was Re: bin/7249)
To: Alistair G. Crooks <>
From: Tino Wildenhain <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 07/19/2000 12:33:47

only to put 0.02 into the discussion:

HTML was invented for simple documentation, focused 
on physics, back in 1992 when it was brougt up.

The key behind structurized documentation is metainformation.
Without metainformation, documentation is only an monolitic
block of text. Such a block of text, like READMEs or some
manpages are hard to work with, even if you are used to do.

Its not easy to jump to the interesting parts (its much more
easy with well formated man-pages then with REAMEs though)

Pretty printing with READMEs is also no-no.

Ok, XML cant provide a solution to all matters, its only a
language to build a document standard on.

I'm sure there is a DTD for technical documentation. If not, 
we could commit to one main standard here, which would be
easyly extendable.

Then, who likes man output (s)he can it get from xml2man or such,
or can have normal man files generated.
Who likes HTML, can get it thru her/his favourite useragend vi XSL
or after transformation (ApacheXML and friends for the onliners)

etc. etc.

As far as I know, man files aren't written in the format of the
man program itself. So there it not to expect a hard change for
the authors.

Tino Wildenhain

(Dont forget about the ability to catalogize a well structured

"Alistair G. Crooks" wrote:
> Just to put a spanner in this particular works - a hypertext-like
> viewer for man and info pages is in pkgsrc/x11/tkman - please check
> it out. It uses the standard man pages as input, and uses a program
> called Rosetta man, or rman (pkgsrc/textproc/rman) to preprocess
> its input.
> Regards,
> Alistair