12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 19, 2010 8:54 AM by Silkie12

    Robo 8 and DocBook


      Ok who is the expert on converting RoboHelp 8 HTML project to DocBook then using xsltproc and xhtml/docbook.xsl to convert to html files and using the css stylesheet file used for project in RH8 as the styles to be displayed in converted html files. I have successfully converted help project to docbook and used xsltproc and the doxbook.xsl (and other imported xsl files) in docbook-xsl-1.75.2\xhtml to convert to html. I had to add a line in docbook.xsl to provide a link to my css file in final html output. The problem is that formatting does not look the same in the generated html output. I assume because docbook.xsl is not reading all the styles in the original RH8 project source html files.


      Customer wants delivery in DocBook xml output so they can convert to various formats using xslt processor. Anybody else dealt with similar issue. Would like generated html output from xslt to look like a webhelp application with same styles I started with in RH8.

        • 1. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hi there


          Personally, I'd be astonished if your question is answered here. I'm not sure there are very many folks doing this sort of thing.


          You might also try posting the question to the HATT list or the Techwr-L list.


          Click here to visit HATT

          Click here to visit Techwr-L


          Cheers... Rick



          Helpful and Handy Links

          RoboHelp Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

          Begin learning RoboHelp HTML 7 or 8 within the day - $24.95!

          Adobe Certified RoboHelp HTML Training

          SorcerStone Blog

          RoboHelp eBooks

          • 2. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook

            Hooray! I'm here. Same problem, same reasons for using docbook. I posted the question, less specifically, to the Other category. I'll check Rick's suggested links, but would you pls post here if you find an answer. We need this thread.


            I found that the RH8 output docbook xml itself is not generating styles for the xml below H1.

            • 3. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
              Silkie12 Level 1

              I'm replying to the top level topic, in case you are getting email notifications and would not be notified of my reply to Rick, below.

              • 4. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                jebzoober Level 1

                Yes, I noticed that H1 tags are placed in title tags and H2, H3, etc. are put in para tags in the xml output. I assume this is controlled somewhere in the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 8\RoboHTML\XmlSupportExt xsl files but I have not investigated this yet.

                • 5. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                  Silkie12 Level 1

                  I think it's this one: XHTML2DOCBOOK.XSL. See line 265. However, I don't yet know enough DocBook to know what to add. Will work on that today.

                  • 6. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                    Silkie12 Level 1

                    I did a search on line 265: <xsl:template match="html:h1|html:h2|html:h3|html:h4|html:h5|html:h6">


                    And find  an answer from a 2004 question, indicating a need to fill out the template information:


                     <xsl:template match="html:h1">
                    >             <xsl:element name="fo:block">
                    >                   <xsl:attribute name="font-size">24pt</xsl:attribute>
                    >                   <xsl:call-template name="get-heading-attrs"/>
                    >                   <xsl:apply-templates/>
                    >             </xsl:element>
                    >       </xsl:template>
                    >       <xsl:template match="html:h2">
                    >             <xsl:element name="fo:block">
                    >                   <xsl:attribute name="font-size">20pt</xsl:attribute>
                    >                   <xsl:call-template name="get-heading-attrs"/>
                    >                   <xsl:apply-templates/>
                    >             </xsl:element>
                    >       </xsl:template>
                    >       <xsl:template match="html:h3">
                    >             <xsl:element name="fo:block">
                    >                   <xsl:attribute name="font-size">18pt</xsl:attribute>
                    >                   <xsl:call-template name="get-heading-attrs"/>
                    >                   <xsl:apply-templates/>
                    >             </xsl:element>

                    However, the person used "fo", which I think is for printed docs. So am not sure if this can be used for an eventual output from DocBook > WebHelp, which is what our client wants.

                    • 7. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                      Silkie12 Level 1

                      Making that change did not work. Jebzoober, are you using chunk.xsl or docbook.xsl?

                      • 8. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                        jebzoober Level 1

                        using docbook.xsl

                        • 9. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                          Silkie12 Level 1

                          Problem 2) Links

                          Issue:  The links in the RH DocBook XML generated files  are calling xml files, not html filex. When the files are transformed into html, they are still calling xml links.

                          • 10. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                            Silkie12 Level 1

                            Hi Jebzoober,

                            Yesterday afternoon we quit trying. Our developer believes the complexity is not worth the work, and he can work in the files himself (one of the goals) more easily if we keep the document in DocBook format. We agreed, knowing that single-sourcing does not save a lot of writer work given the differences the between our Windows & Linux application versions.


                            The developer used his XML and coding skills to fix the headers and broken links. His XML skills do not extend to DocBook stylesheet knowledge, and like your situation, his xsltproc did not fix the format issues. If we were to keep the docs in RH, he would have to fix the output after each generation.  He’s now working on adding David Cramer’s WebHelp-like styles to DocBook output (see online "david cramer" "webhelp" 2003).


                            Neil Perlin replied  to my questions - he's a consultant at  http://hyperword.blogspot.com/- and notes that as far as he knows, the RH XML module was not documented by the eHelp developers before they left Macromedia, and he knows of no other information about what's going on under the RH XML hood.

                            Direct RH support is unavailable to us right now – someone ordered the wrong product so we can’t register. I called support anyway, using our previous registration. They put me on hold for an hour, and I finally hung up.

                            If you need any more resource links, I did a lot of research on this. I also have questions out to other experts as well as RH support. If I learn any more, I'll post. Good luck, and if you do find the answer, would you please post. The day may yet come to switch back.




                            • 11. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook

                              Hi there,

                              I just ran across this post. I'm the "David Cramer" mentioned above. Unfortunately, the blog post Scott Nisbett wrote that is referred to is very out of date :-) That was an experiment I tried long ago but never found that useful myself.


                              Converting RoboHELP to DocBook:

                              I haven't worked with RoboHELP for a while. but if you want to produce DocBook FROM RoboHELP, it's possible but I would only recommend it as a one-time conversion. It can be partially automated but you're converting non-semantic source to semantic markup so it's bound to be a little messy. I doubt it's possible to get clean enough DocBook from RoboHELP.


                              If you want to create a web-based help FROM DocBook, then you have some choices:


                              1. Use the DocBook xsls to create HTML Help output (i.e. the .hhp and .hhc files and the html files), then open the hhp in RoboHELP and generate WebHelp from that. I used this trick for years, but it was annoying to have one manual step in an otherwise automatic build process.

                              2. Have a look at this project. Depending on your requirements, it might work for you: http://www.thingbag.net/docbook/gsoc2010/doc/content/ch01.html (Note: Someday that link will go away. When it does, check out the DocBook Open Repository at sourceforge: http://docbook.sourceforge.net/


                              Good luck,


                              • 12. Re: Robo 8 and DocBook
                                Silkie12 Level 1



                                A small tip, in case you missed it also. We gave the RH/Docbook conversion diligent effort and finally gave up. My part was RH source thru Handler Manager. We had the converted files ready to format to WebHelp, but it frustrating. What I didn't know was that the RH XML output corresponded by default to an older DTD version, and that there's a dropdown selector. There might be a better choice than the default. (If this tip contains incorrect terminology, use the concept). We ended up doing as David suggests, using RH for a thorough, one-time edit, and then the SME updated the docbook thereafter for that Help project.