Converting to man pages

DocBook documents are converted to man pages in two steps:

  1. The DocBook source is converted by a XSLT stylesheet into an intermediate XML format, Man-XML.

    Man-XML is simpler than DocBook and closer to the man page format; it is intended to make the stylesheets’ job easier.

    The stylesheet for this purpose is in xslt/man/docbook.xsl. For portability, it should always be referred to by the following URI:

    Run this stylesheet with db2x_xsltproc.

    Customizing.  You can also customize the output by creating your own XSLT stylesheet — changing parameters or adding new templates — and importing xslt/man/docbook.xsl.

  2. Man-XML is converted to the actual man pages by db2x_manxml.

The docbook2man command does both steps automatically, but if any problems occur, you can see the errors more clearly if you do each step separately:

$ db2x_xsltproc -s man mydoc.xml -o mydoc.mxml
$ db2x_manxml mydoc.mxml

Options to the conversion stylesheet are described in the man-pages stylesheets reference.

Pure XSLT conversion.  An alternative to the db2x_manxml Perl script is the XSLT stylesheet in xslt/backend/db2x_manxml.xsl. This stylesheet performs a similar function of converting Man-XML to actual man pages. It is useful if you desire a pure XSLT solution to man-page conversion. Of course, the quality of the conversion using this stylesheet will never be as good as the Perl db2x_manxml, and it runs slower. In particular, the pure XSLT version currently does not support tables in man pages, but its Perl counterpart does. For instructions on how to use the stylesheet, see Example 1, “Convert to man pages using pure-XSLT db2x_manxml.