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gnome-doc-utils is a collection of documentation utilities for the Gnome project.





gnome-doc-utils packages contains a collection of documentation utilities for the Gnome project. Notably, it contains utilities for building documentation and all auxiliary files in your source tree, and it contains the DocBook XSLT stylesheets that were once distributed with Yelp. Starting with Gnome 2.8, Yelp will require gnome-doc-utils for the XSLT.


The test directory contains a number of tests for gnome-doc-utils. Directories of the form testdocn, where n is a positive integer, are skeleton source trees containing documentation, with the same layout that would be used by actual projects. The testdocs directory contains the unit tests from docbook-testdocs, developed by Norm and Co. for the pan-galactic DocBook stylesheets. An additional README file is in that directory, giving instructions on extending or changing any of the files in gnome-doc-utils CVS.

The doc directory contains documentation for gnome-doc-utils. In most cases, gnome-doc-utils is required to build its documentation. Mechanisms are in place for bootstrapping.

The xslt directory contains all of the XSLT in gnome-doc-utils. Notably, the xslt/docbook directory contains the DocBook XSLT, and xslt/gettext contains the XSLT gettext utility for translating automatic text.

The sandbox directory is not DISTed, so it will only appear if you have a CVS checkout. It's a playground for new ideas.

The xml2po directory contains the xml2po tool developed by Danilo Segan for translation of arbitrary XML formats. It is used by gnome-doc-utils for DocBook translation.


Under the test directory are a number of tests for gnome-doc-utils. To test the build system (gnome-doc-utils.m4 and gnome-doc-utils.make), you can use any of the testdocn (for n a positive integer) directories. These are set up as skeleton source trees, behaving exactly as a real project would. Also, gnome-doc-utils uses itself to build its own documentation (under doc), so gnome-doc-utils itself is a test of the build tools.

To test the DocBook stylesheets, use the test/testdocs directory. These unit tests are from the docbook-testdocs package on, developed by Norm and Co. Simply typing make in that directory will build each test. If the name of the test file is foo.001.xml, the output will be html/foo.001/foo.001.html. Each test generally tests a small number of related DocBook elements. Many of the features of DocBook or of the XSLT in gnome-doc-utils might not be tested by these. Additional tests may be added; follow the instructions in test/testdocs/README for that.

Also useful for testing the XSLT is to transform some large documents using it. The Gnome User Guide and the Gnumeric Manual both serve as excellent test docs.


Unlike most C programming, working on much of gnome-doc-utils really does involve isolated incremental improvements. There's no way to give a short list of broad features in a TODO list.

To work on the build tools (gnome-doc-utils.m4 and gnome-doc-utils.make), build the test docs and see what doesn't work. gnome-doc-utils.make has a list of all the high-level targets that should be fully supported.

To work on the DocBook XSLT, find an element that isn't implemented yet and implement it. If you have XML Starlet ( installed, you can type 'make report.html' in the xslt/docbook/html directory to get
a nice HTML report on what elements are implemented. There is also a TODO file in this directory with a very succinct list of matches that need to be done that can't be caught by report.html.

Note that the XSLT is documented inline with xsldoc, which is itself a part of gnome-doc-utils. Feel free to work on xsldoc as well. The documentation generated by xsldoc is included in the manual under doc/xslt.
Last updated on March 27th, 2012

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