Friday, April 3, 2009

Mylyn WikiText produces PDF

Mylyn WikiText becomes increasingly flexible with its latest addition of XSL-FO to the list of output formats supported by its wiki markup conversion capability. Combined with the excellent Apache FOP project, it becomes easy to produce PDF from your wiki markup.

<-- create XSL-FO -->
<wikitext-to-xslfo markupLanguage="Textile" file="My File.mediawiki"/>

<-- create PDF -->
<exec command="${fop.home}/fop">
<arg value="${basedir}/help/My"/>
<arg value="${basedir}/help/My File.pdf"/>

From a single source you can now produce HTML, Eclipse Help, DocBook, DITA and now XSL-FO and PDF. Wiki markup never looked so good!

If you're interested in trying out this new functionality you'll have to wait until the next weekly release is posted on the Mylyn downloads page.


Chris Aniszczyk (zx) said...

Thanks David :)

David Carver said...

What is funny, is that XML is doing most of the work. People may not like it's verbosity, but it does a great job of describing meta data.

XML still seems to be the main work horse here with XSLT stylesheets driving. I like wiki for quick editing, but there are so many variations on markups depending on which wiki you are working with, that XML is still a more neutral representation. Especially DocBook, DITA, and FO.

David Green said...

@David Carver I agree, XML is great -- I use it every day. 'Work horse' is a great term to describe it. With respect to authoring content i, I have not yet found a tool that makes it easy enough. In this context, wiki markup has the benefit of being extremely lightweight (notepad and vi will do) and having a low markup-to-content ratio. Having a tool like WikiText that can readily convert wiki markup to various XML formats enables the use of XML tooling as well.

As a technical note, WikiText doesn't use XSLT when producing XML-FO.

David Carver said... haven't yet looked at the VEX incubating project in the WTP Incubator yet. A little CSS, and a SWT Widget does wonders for styling and editing XML.

I agree that wiki markup can be quick, but like XML there are many different dialects to learn.

David Green said...

@David Carver Great, I look forward to trying it! Regarding many dialects of wiki markup, true however many people only need to learn one, and with tooling like WikiText it's a lot easier.