Wiki Development Festival

Chris Buxton cbuxton at
Fri Oct 17 15:49:37 PDT 2008

On Oct 17, 2008, at 3:08 PM, Petr Cerny wrote:
> Jan Dvorak wrote:
>> Hi fellow fromscratchers,
>> ...
>> But... HLFS needs you. Right now, Robert has to go through pain and
>> suffering of not having nice colored HTML book and having to write
>> shell scripts in an old text editor. And not only him. Other people,
>> especially newbies, have no chance of understanding fruits of his
>> work if they are not served with sweet, colorful topping of CSS.
> I'm sorry - I obviously don't get it. Isn't the Book written in
> DocBook (which itself is SGML/XML)? Do you want to write a converter
> from HTML to DocBook? Or some wiki with export to DocBook? Or do you
> want to move completely from DocBook to wiki? How would you handle
> exports to TeX/PDF/PS then?

No, that's the point. The current XML format is being discontinued in  
favor of a shell script format, and Jan is proposing to write a wiki  
engine that will take those shell scripts and format them nicely for  
web browsing, while still allowing download of the original shell  
script versions.

> Could you, please, be more specific about "not having colored HTML
> book"? What would you like let's say
> to look like? Wouldn't it be possible to achieve it by changing the
> XSLTs applied during the export from DocBook to HTML?
> And what do you mean by: "suffering of writing scripts in an old text
> editor"? What else than a "text editor" is one supposed to use for
> writing shell scripts?
> I'm trying to say that you may be wasting your time on something which
> is not necessarily needed. IMHO the only valid reason seems to be only
> the easiness of updating. Then however, reformatting the sources in  
> such
> a way that plain-text diffs of the XML sources are be easier to apply
> might be a better option (sorry if that is done already - I just  
> checked
> a half year old version which happens to be on my HD). Access rights,
> merging capabilities etc. would be sorted out by a (carefully  
> selected)
> versioning system.

You may have a point there. A good versioning system (and here I have  
no opinion, having never really used any of them) has all of the  
features needed for versioning, branching, etc.

So the task for Jan, then, is primarily to create a syntax highlighter  
(and a few other things, perhaps) for bash scripts that can work with  
sources housed in a versioning repository. We are (or rather, Robert  
is) already using SVN, so there's an argument for continuing that. It  
might be nice to provide a web front end for some of the features of  
this repository, so that potential contributors don't need to know  
anything about how it works in order to create branches, etc.

The individual page scripts themselves are not that difficult, and  
they follow a rather predictable format. Perhaps an editor could be  
created that divides up each page into:

- unpack
- patch
- configure
- build
- test
- install
- clean up

There may be need for some tweaking of that list, but I think that's  
the basic form. And if the output of each stage could be logged,  
similar to the logging used in the Package Users hint for LFS, that  
would be pretty spiffy.

The editor would need to be able to turn off unneeded sections (not  
all packages have patches, and not all pages are for packages), add  
custom sections (for example, some packages have several sections of  
testing, sometimes after installation), reorder sections, etc.


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