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Is there a way to edit the Debian reference manual with Writer?

asked 2019-01-19 04:55:30 +0200

EasyTrieve gravatar image

updated 2019-01-20 01:54:59 +0200

Is it possible to use LO Writer to edit this xml DocBook manual: The Debian Reference Manual?

(BTW, it's currently being publishing to html and pdf with something called 'publican', if that helps.)


I can see that LO Writer can output DocBook format, but but another, older Q here suggests this might not work so well.

Also so far, I'm not sure how to input it into Writer.


So any ideas about how's the best way to edit this manual? I was hoping for a WYSIWYG editor for this task, rather than using a text editor. Also not sure how to set up appropriate styles in Writer, and/or to get all of the tags to work.

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answered 2019-01-19 09:01:48 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

I would not recommend using Writer for the task. In the end, an XML file is plain text ASCII (or Unicode) file which means all the styling offered by Writer is wiped off when saving.

ODF is a dialect of XML, just like DocBook is another dialect of XML but the DTDs are different. Principles are also different: Writer emphasises the appearance while DocBook insists on meaning (semantic markup). This may be why converting from Writer to DocBook is so difficult with poor results.

My choice would rather be an editor with an XML plugin, like KWrite ou Kate under Linux/KDE. Of course, it will offer no automated entry (no "style") but it will check that tags are paired and you can shrink or expand XML elements. Tags are syntax coloured and indented which helps to catch their range.

There is no DocBook plugin, but there are for XML and Doxigen. It is not difficult to write one for DocBook: a plugin is a set of macros and you can start from the provided XML. I did that for a queer block language.

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@ajlittoz, Thank you for your ideas and input on this.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2019-01-20 01:54:22 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2019-01-19 04:55:30 +0200

Seen: 46 times

Last updated: Jan 20