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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] [GSOC] About DocBook WebHelp Project

Hi Visitha,

Welcome to the DocBook project. David, he's one of participant of the Google Summer of Code 2012 Introductory Session we organized last Saturday! :)

In addition to what David suggested, you may start poking around the UI [1], and the code [2] (Only checkout the trunk/). I'd say start with the UI. One thing you can do that benefit both you and DocBook project is doing some UI testing on different browsers. You benefit from this because you get to know a high-level idea about the supported features of webhelp and how they work etc. From our side, we benefit from your testing when you report possible bugs that you may encounter. 
We'd like to test WebHelp more on different versions of Internet Explorer starting with IE 6? You may do this with a snapshot zip file. We can discuss more if you are interested. But keep in mind that you need to give priority to creating the proposal in the next two weeks, so, don't make this too much of a burden!

[1] http://snapshots.docbook.org/xsl/webhelp/docs/content/index.html 
[2] http://sourceforge.net/scm/?type=svn&group_id=21935


On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 4:26 AM, David Cramer <david@thingbag.net> wrote:
Hash: SHA1

Hi Visitha,
It sounds like you've taken all the right initial steps. Indeed, the
idea behind DocBook is to provide an XML vocabulary for marking up
technical documents semantically and the tools to transform those XML
documents into artifacts that can be consumed by humans (pdf, epub,
webhelp, etc).

To further your exploration, if you like IDEs and build-in
convenience, you should check out the oXygen XML Editor [1]. It's
commercial, but they're generous with licenses for people working on
open source projects. They also include Webhelp from the previous GSoC
and the webhelp output in the svn tree [2] includes code that they
have contributed back. oXygen includes assisted authoring for writing
DocBook documents, xslts, xproc pipelines, etc.

I'd encourage you to explore XPath and XSLT. XSLT can be a bit
mind-bending at first, but is fun and powerful in the long run. Use
some resources on the web. The DocBook xsls are a great way to learn
xslt since they exercise so many features. Pay attention to the
differences between xslt 1.0 and 2.0. XSL 2.0 is more powerful, but
it's good to learn xsl 1.0 since it's more widely supported.

You might also look at XProc [3] as a related technology. If the GSoC
project ends up porting the webhelp output to the xslt 2.0 stylesheets
[4], then using an xproc pipeline to build it would be an interesting
project. Another interesting project that includes webhelp support is
the Docbkx maven plugin [5].

All this will introduce you to some interesting technologies that will
come in handy throughout your career.

But before all that additional exploration, your real next step is to
put together a proposal! In addition to the ideas on the Webhelp ideas
page on the xmlpress wiki [6]. I'll be happy to priorities the
features presented there, and others on this list using webhelp will
have their own ideas on what should be added, changed, or improved in
webhelp and what the priorities should be.

Thanks for your interest and let me know when you have further questions.


[1] http://www.oxygenxml.com/
[2] http://snapshots.docbook.org/xsl/webhelp/docs/content/index.html
[3] http://xproc.org/
[4] https://github.com/docbook/xslt20-stylesheets
[5] https://code.google.com/p/docbkx-tools/
[6] http://docbook.xmlpress.net/tiki-index.php?page=WebHelpIdeas

> What I got about this conversion is, the Xsltproc takes both xsl
> style sheet which I targeted and my xml source document and produce
> a our desired output(in my case html) according to xsl style sheet.
> Please correct me if I wrong..!!

Yes, that is correct, but xsltproc is just one xsl processor. Also
popular are Saxon and Xerces (both implemented in Java). The webhelp
sample ant script uses Saxon.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/


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Kasun Gajasinghe
Software Engineer; WSO2 Inc.; http://wso2.com,
linked-in: http://lk.linkedin.com/in/gajasinghe
blog: http://blog.kasunbg.org


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