dtplite - Lightweight DocTools Markup Processor
The application described by this document, dtplite, is the successor to the extremely simple mpexpand. Influenced in its functionality by the dtp doctools processor it is much more powerful than mpexpand, yet still as easy to use; definitely easier than dtp with its myriad of subcommands and options.
dtplite is based upon the package doctools, like the other two processors.
dtplite was written with the following three use cases in mind.
Validation of a single document, i.e. checking that it was written in valid doctools format. This mode can also be used to get a preliminary version of the formatted output for a single document, for display in a browser, nroff, etc., allowing proofreading of the formatting.
Generation of the formatted documentation for a single package, i.e. all the manpages, plus a table of contents and an index of keywords.
An extension of the previous mode of operation, a method for the easy generation of one documentation tree for several packages, and especially of a unified table of contents and keyword index.
Beyond the above we also want to make use of the customization features provided by the HTML formatter. It is not the only format the application should be able to generate, but we anticipiate it to be the most commonly used, and it is one of the few which do provide customization hooks.
We allow the caller to specify a header string, footer string, a stylesheet, and data for a bar of navigation links at the top of the generated document. While all can be set as long as the formatting engine provides an appropriate engine parameter (See section OPTIONS) the last two have internal processing which make them specific to HTML.
This is the form for use case . The options will be explained later, in section OPTIONS.
This argument specifies where to write the generated document. It can be the path to a file or directory, or -. The last value causes the application to write the generated documented to stdout.
If the output does not exist then [file dirname $output] has to exist and must be a writable directory. The generated document will be written to a file in that directory, and the name of that file will be derived from the inputfile, the format, and the value given to option -ext (if present).
This argument specifies the formatting engine to use when processing the input, and thus the format of the generated document. See section FORMATS for the possibilities recognized by the application.
This argument specifies the path to the file to process. It has to exist, must be readable, and written in doctools format.
This is a simpler form for use case . The "validate" format generates no output at all, only syntax checks are performed. As such the specification of an output file or other options is not necessary and left out.
This is the form for use case . It differs from the form for use case  by having the input documents specified through a directory instead of a file. The other arguments are identical, except for output, which now has to be the path to an existing and writable directory.
The input documents are all files in inputdirectory or any of its subdirectories which were recognized by fileutil::fileType as containing text in doctools format.
This is the form for use case . The only difference to the form for use case  is the additional option -merge.
Each such call will merge the generated documents coming from processing the input documents under inputdirectory or any of its subdirectories to the files under output. In this manner it is possible to incrementally build the unified documentation for any number of packages. Note that it is necessary to run through all the packages twice to get fully correct cross-references (for formats supporting them).
This section describes all the options available to the user of the application, with the exception of the options -o and -merge. These two were described already, in section COMMAND LINE.
At first the format argument will be treated as a path to a tcl file containing the code for the requested formatting engine. The argument will be treated as the name of one of the predefined formats listed below if and only if the path does not exist.
Note a limitation: If treating the format as path to the tcl script implementing the engine was sucessful, then this script has to implement not only the engine API for doctools, i.e. doctools_api, but for doctoc_api and docidx_api as well. Otherwise the generation of a table of contents and of a keyword index will fail.
List of predefined formats, i.e. as provided by the package doctools:
The processor generates *roff output, the standard format for unix manpages.
The processor generates HTML output, for usage in and display by web browsers. This engine is currently the only one providing the various engine parameters required for the additional customaization of the output.
The processor generates TMML output, the Tcl Manpage Markup Language, a derivative of XML.
The processor generates LaTeX output.
The processor generates Wiki markup as understood by wikit.
The processor extracts the information provided by manpage_begin. This format is used internally to extract the meta data from which both table of contents and keyword index are derived from.
The processor does not generate any output. This is equivalent to validate.
In this section we describe the directory structures generated by the application under output when processing all documents in an inputdirectory. In other words, this is only relevant to the use cases  and .
The following directory structure is created when processing a single set of input documents. The file extension used is for output in HTML, but that is not relevant to the structure and was just used to have proper file names.
output/ toc.html index.html files/ path/to/FOO.html
The last line in the example shows the document generated for a file FOO located at
When merging many packages into a unified set of documents the generated directory structure is a bit deeper:
output .toc .idx .tocdoc .idxdoc .xrf toc.html index.html FOO1/ ... FOO2/ toc.html files/ path/to/BAR.html
Each of the directories FOO1, ... contains the documents generated for the package FOO1, ... and follows the structure shown for use case . The only exception is that there is no per-package index.
The files ".toc", ".idx", and ".xrf" contain the internal status of the whole output and will be read and updated by the next invokation. Their contents will not be documented. Remove these files when all packages wanted for the output have been processed, i.e. when the output is complete.
The files ".tocdoc", and ".idxdoc", are intermediate files in doctoc and docidx markup, respectively, containing the main table of contents and keyword index for the set of documents before their conversion to the chosen output format. They are left in place, i.e. not deleted, to serve as demonstrations of doctoc and docidx markup.
This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category doctools of the Tcllib Trackers. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.