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Subject: DOCBOOK: UNIX manpage -> DocBook -> manpage ?

This is my first contribution to the list. I haven't used or installed
DocBook stuff yet and am still waiting for my DocBook book to arrive, so
please be patient if this seems naive.

I'm wondering what is around to convert unix manpages into DocBook. Assume
the source manpages are cleanly and comprehensively marked up, BSD mandoc

While *roff macros are ultimately executed to effect physical formatting
(adding headers, handling indents, etc), the authors of mandoc realised
that the macro symbols themselves were a form of markup enabling relatively
easy conversion into other formats - provided the macros were restricted to
logical (structural) markup instead of physical formatting. At least that's
my reading of a section of the mandoc manpage.

However I have seen some manpages where nroff macros outside the mandoc set
have been used. For example, .br ocassionally used to produce a line break
within a paragraph being a table cell. Apart from the issue of whether any
manpage -> DocBook converter can handle this, does DocBook support such
concrete formatting amidst the logical markup ?

Also, standard mandoc does not include markup for url's but perhaps such
has been added? A single one for URL would handle email addresses too, such
as often used for manpage authors.

Danny Thomas

PS I also interested to know what conversions are available from DocBook to
mandoc manpages. I'm mainly interested in whether DocBook can be an
internal representation for holding manpages but also convertable to html,
pdf etc in perhaps better ways (eg HTML CSS) than the normal manpage
converters. The distinction is I'm not looking to convert arbitrary DocBook
to manpag, just the subset of DocBook likely to be produced from a manpage
-> DocBook conversion.

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