docbook2man-spec.pl - convert DocBook RefEntries to man pages
nsgmls [ sgml document ]| sgmlspl docbook2man-spec.pl
docbook2man is a sgmlspl spec file that produced man pages (using the
-man macros) from DocBook RefEntry markup.
The program reads ESIS produced by nsgmls (or other SGML parsers) from
standard input. Markup not found in RefEntry is discarded.
Its output, the converted man pages, are written to the current direc‐
tory. If RefMeta information is not specified in a RefEntry, then the
man page will be written to standard output.
The file manpage.links will also be created, which contains any aliases
of the manpages generated. This file is in the format:
<man page> <alias
The manpage.refs file keeps track of XRef references. Note that if the
input document has any forward references, then docbook2man may have to
be invoked twice (the first time updating manpage.refs) to resolve
The SGMLSpm package from CPAN. This package includes the sgmlspl
script that is also needed.
Trying docbook2man on non-DocBook or non-conformant SGML results in
undefined behavior. :-)
This program is a slow, dodgy Perl script.
This program does not come close to supporting all the possible markup
in DocBook, and may produce wrong output in some cases with supported
· Fix docbook2man breakages found in the test documents, especially
· Add new element handling and fix existing handling. Be robust.
· Produce cleanest, readable man output as possible (unlike some other
converters). Follow Linux man(7) convention. As conversion to man
pages is usually not done very often, it is better to be slower/more
complicated than to produce wrong output. Also if someone wants to
give up using DocBook for whatever reason, the last-converted man
pages can then be maintained manually.
· Make it faster. I think most of the speed problems so far is with
parsing ESIS. Rewrite SGMLS.pm with C and/or get input directly from
· Support other (human) languages. But what to do with non-ASCII
charsets? SGMLSpm doesn't report them and roff does not grok them.
[Comment: text after enclosed lists (and SS blocks) will break doc‐
book2man] If we do this, more people can use DocBook.
Copyright (C) 1998-1999 Steve Cheng <email@example.com>
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
with this program; see the file COPYING. If not, please write to the
Free Software Foundation, 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
11 February 2004 DOCBOOK2MAN-SPEC.PL(1)