phayz's blog

…it's time for a new phayz of life

AsciiDoc – I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel…

..and I hope it’s not a train coming the other way. 😛

I am trying to use the AsciiDoc application to produce the Frugalware Linux newsletter. AsciiDoc is a tool which takes text written in a “light” markup language and converts it – via various tools – into formats such as HTML, ePub, DocBook etc. I have only just begun learning about it and I tend to be a slow learner.

I first made the mistake of taking an existing newsletter issue in HTML format and manually converting it to AsciiDoc format. This all looked good when I used the basic AsciiDoc tool to convert it to HTML. However when I tried to do the same using the more sophisticated ‘a2x’ tool, I got validation error messages. I asked for help on the AsciiDoc Google Groups’ group and quickly got help, highlighting some invalid syntax I had left in the file. With that corrected, the file now converts successfully to HTML.

Now I am looking at using various configuration options to get the desired result. The results so far are encouraging. It’s when I see what other people and groups are doing that I get a little scared. Of course I need to realise that I need to do only the minimum with AsciiDoc to get what I want. If later our requirements change and we need to use a more complex configuration then OK, I’ll do that. For the moment, though, the simple configuration I have is working.

AsciiDoc is part of a plan to make the production of the newsletter easier. Right now it’s quite labour-intensive when more of the production steps could be automated (or at least semi-automated). I will report my progress here.

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