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Importing the manual

It would be good to get the ROX-Filer manual imported into the new site properly:

  • Pages would show up in searches.
  • We could provide sensible nagivation (not just one big page).
  • It would fit in with the style of the rest of the site.
  • People could comment on pages.

However, I don't want two copies being edited individually. We need to be able to generate the filer's manual from the web-site copy.

The problem is that Drupal doesn't have an import filter for DocBook (the format used for the manual). Converting to HTML is easy, but that loses the markup and if we do that we can't go back (Drupal's export can't regenerate tags such as 'filename', although it can cope with chapters, I presume).

Ideally, we should be able to edit it as DocBook on the website and have Drupal convert to HTML for display only. Then, we can generate the manual by simply fetching the page source. There are several requests on, but no answers as far as I can see.

I may have a go at writing the filter myself, now that I've got drupal running locally. Getting it working was tricky as mod_rewrite in the version of Apache I had was broken and I couldn't upgrade easily because I've got a custom compile of php4 with Oracle support for another web-site backup, and that would need recompiling (and no, I don't have any choice about using Oracle... that's all we've got available at that site).

In the end, I created a new chroot (rather easy using the handy Debian debootstrap command) and put Oracle, Apache and PHP4 in there. Tip for people used to using Xen vitual machines: don't use 'shutdown' to shutdown the chroot... it will shutdown the main machine instead ;-)

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