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FAQmaker 0.3

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  • Neil Walker
    WHAT: FAQmaker 0.3 - a Tcl package to automate creation of FAQs in multiple file formats. This is the first public release. WHERE:
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2000
      WHAT: FAQmaker 0.3 - a Tcl package to automate creation of FAQs in
      multiple file formats. This is the first public release.

      WHERE: http://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/FAQmaker/

      WHY: Fed up with hand-crafting HTML for large-ish FAQs, I came across
      Don Libes' FAQ.tcl [1] in 1996. This creates HTML and text from
      a single source file. I've now extended his ideas (while programming
      from scratch) to add LaTeX support (for pretty-printing, and PDF
      file generation), and XML support, using both the Questions and
      Answers Markup Language (QAML DTD)[2], and DocBook's QandASet[3].

      OPTIONS: All 3 non-XML formats can be (independently) configured
      to generate a separate table-of-contents, separate "meta" information
      (maintainer, version, archive location etc), and separate sections.
      There are a raft of other options to alter labelling and numbering,
      add stylesheets, and include headers and footers.

      REQUIREMENTS: Tcl8.0+, all Tcl code, no compiling required.
      Tcl is a stunningly good free cross-platform scripting language
      available from http://www.ajubasolutions.com/ and all good mirrors.
      Each output type requires a viewing method too - see website for

      title, version, maintain, keyword, archive, related, intro, legal
      Meta/header information commands

      section, subsection, qna
      Main definition commands for body of FAQ

      p, pre, startlist, stoplist, startenum, stopenum, item
      Block markup procs to build answers

      link, label, ref
      Tk-ish procs to cross-reference material

      encode, comment, note, heading, subheading, bold, emph, typed,
      center, quote, underline, big, small, hr, rule, space, rulefill,
      dotfill, spacefill, tab, ldots, softnewline, newline, copyright,
      Inline markup

      qconfigure, pconfigure, preamble, end
      Configuration and tidying up commands

      input, only, note
      Legitimised hacks

      METHOD: Each type of output has its own generator and markup package,
      such that:

      qna -q {Why does it crash if I do XYZ?} \
      -a {
      p {Two reasons have been found:}

      item {[emph Some] PCs crash sometimes anyway [typed ;-)]}
      item {The software might be struggling with boundary conditions -
      see [ref -linkto http://www.foo.org/%5d for the latest
      thinking and patches.}

      does the obvious thing in each target language.


      CONTACT: Neil Walker, neil.walker@...
      Testers, developers, users all welcome.

      LICENSE: Free, under Artistic and BSD licenses.

      [1] ftp://ftp.nist.gov/mel/div826/subject/expect/FAQ.tcl
      [2] http://www.ascc.net/xml/
      [3] http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/xml/

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