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Anyone have experience with PDF generation from Eclipse Help? [message #475432] Thu, 26 March 2009 18:19 Go to next message
Mike Melton is currently offline Mike Melton
Messages: 50
Registered: July 2009
Member
We're running a pilot of a stand-alone Infocenter and our users would like
to be able to generate PDF output of topics they select. I know it's
possible to generate PDFs through the printing feature, but that's not
what we want to do.

What we would like is to allow users to select non-continuous topics (as
they can when restricting search), and then click a button to generate a
PDF of the selected topics (on the fly, custom, PDF generation).

If anyone has used any extensions or third-party software to do this, I
would appreciate hearing about your experience.

Thanks!
Mike
Re: Anyone have experience with PDF generation from Eclipse Help? [message #475444 is a reply to message #475432] Thu, 02 April 2009 20:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lee Anne Kowalski is currently offline Lee Anne Kowalski
Messages: 54
Registered: July 2009
Member
Mike Melton wrote:
> We're running a pilot of a stand-alone Infocenter and our users would
> like to be able to generate PDF output of topics they select. I know
> it's possible to generate PDFs through the printing feature, but that's
> not what we want to do.
>
> What we would like is to allow users to select non-continuous topics (as
> they can when restricting search), and then click a button to generate a
> PDF of the selected topics (on the fly, custom, PDF generation).
>
> If anyone has used any extensions or third-party software to do this, I
> would appreciate hearing about your experience.
>
> Thanks!
> Mike
>

Gee, the silence is deafening. :-)

Mike, when you say "stand-alone" Infocenter, do you mean an infocenter
that's hosted at your company and your users visit it there? Or an
infocenter that you ship to your users and they install it at their
location? The usage scenario might determine which route is the best way
to go.

I do not have direct experience to share.

This third-party software was mentioned in the Eclipse Bugzilla that
involved printing multiple topics (see Comment 2 of
https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=38196#c2)

HTMLDOC: http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/

The link to its "open source" version isn't working when I just clicked
on it. In the Eclipse Bugzilla, there's a comment that that couldn't be
used by the Eclipse Project itself because its license terms aren't
compatible with the EPL. However, I wonder if the open source version is
still available.

Best regards,
Lee Anne
<HTML>DOC open source page [message #475445 is a reply to message #475444] Thu, 02 April 2009 20:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lee Anne Kowalski is currently offline Lee Anne Kowalski
Messages: 54
Registered: July 2009
Member
Well, after a Google search of HTMLDOC, the page loads:
http://www.htmldoc.org/

Lee Anne Kowalski wrote:
> Mike Melton wrote:
>> We're running a pilot of a stand-alone Infocenter and our users would
>> like to be able to generate PDF output of topics they select. I know
>> it's possible to generate PDFs through the printing feature, but
>> that's not what we want to do.
>>
>> What we would like is to allow users to select non-continuous topics
>> (as they can when restricting search), and then click a button to
>> generate a PDF of the selected topics (on the fly, custom, PDF
>> generation).
>>
>> If anyone has used any extensions or third-party software to do this,
>> I would appreciate hearing about your experience.
>>
>> Thanks!
>> Mike
>>
>
> Gee, the silence is deafening. :-)
>
> Mike, when you say "stand-alone" Infocenter, do you mean an infocenter
> that's hosted at your company and your users visit it there? Or an
> infocenter that you ship to your users and they install it at their
> location? The usage scenario might determine which route is the best way
> to go.
>
> I do not have direct experience to share.
>
> This third-party software was mentioned in the Eclipse Bugzilla that
> involved printing multiple topics (see Comment 2 of
> https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=38196#c2)
>
> HTMLDOC: http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/
>
> The link to its "open source" version isn't working when I just clicked
> on it. In the Eclipse Bugzilla, there's a comment that that couldn't be
> used by the Eclipse Project itself because its license terms aren't
> compatible with the EPL. However, I wonder if the open source version is
> still available.
>
> Best regards,
> Lee Anne
Re: <HTML>DOC open source page [message #475446 is a reply to message #475445] Thu, 02 April 2009 21:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mike Melton is currently offline Mike Melton
Messages: 50
Registered: July 2009
Member
Thanks, Lee Anne! It's always a pleasure.

For now we're only offering our docs through an Infocenter we host
(http://support.citrix.com/proddocs). We're still in beta, so I'm not sure
what our roadmap will be like. I suspect it will include a version our
customers can install locally (with updates, of course).

We'll have a look at htmldoc.org, and I'll write back with our findings.
Re: <HTML>DOC open source page [message #475448 is a reply to message #475446] Fri, 03 April 2009 13:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lee Anne Kowalski is currently offline Lee Anne Kowalski
Messages: 54
Registered: July 2009
Member
Hi Mike,

It would be great if you would post back any findings about htmldoc.org.
I looked briefly at the forums and it would be interesting to hear if
you think it would work for your scenario.

There's a thought that if you're offering the docs through an infocenter
that you're hosting (and so you control what's happening on the back
end), then there might be some other server-based options.

I did a very brief Google search on "HTML to PDF" and there are some
PHP-based ones (just some examples: http://www.rustyparts.com/pdf.php,
and dompdf, and one on Sourceforge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/html2fpdf).

Another idea is that if your HTML content is from DITA, could you have
the DITA Open Toolkit on the server-side, and kick off a PDF
transformation of the ditamap associated with the Eclipse ToC node that
the user wants to print? If that association between what the user wants
to print (say, a specific Eclipse ToC node and HTML files) can be made
on the back-end with the ditamap and DITA files, then you might be able
to leverage 'prettier' PDF characteristics that are available from the
DITA-PDF transform.

Of course, shopping the whole DITA OT to your users might be overkill,
but htmldoc might fit the ship scenario depending on how large it is.

Good luck! I look forward to hearing what you discover.

--Lee Anne



Mike Melton wrote:
> Thanks, Lee Anne! It's always a pleasure.
>
> For now we're only offering our docs through an Infocenter we host
> (http://support.citrix.com/proddocs). We're still in beta, so I'm not
> sure what our roadmap will be like. I suspect it will include a version
> our customers can install locally (with updates, of course).
>
> We'll have a look at htmldoc.org, and I'll write back with our findings.
>
Re: Anyone have experience with PDF generation from Eclipse Help? [message #623272 is a reply to message #475432] Thu, 02 April 2009 20:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lee Anne Kowalski is currently offline Lee Anne Kowalski
Messages: 54
Registered: July 2009
Member
Mike Melton wrote:
> We're running a pilot of a stand-alone Infocenter and our users would
> like to be able to generate PDF output of topics they select. I know
> it's possible to generate PDFs through the printing feature, but that's
> not what we want to do.
>
> What we would like is to allow users to select non-continuous topics (as
> they can when restricting search), and then click a button to generate a
> PDF of the selected topics (on the fly, custom, PDF generation).
>
> If anyone has used any extensions or third-party software to do this, I
> would appreciate hearing about your experience.
>
> Thanks!
> Mike
>

Gee, the silence is deafening. :-)

Mike, when you say "stand-alone" Infocenter, do you mean an infocenter
that's hosted at your company and your users visit it there? Or an
infocenter that you ship to your users and they install it at their
location? The usage scenario might determine which route is the best way
to go.

I do not have direct experience to share.

This third-party software was mentioned in the Eclipse Bugzilla that
involved printing multiple topics (see Comment 2 of
https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=38196#c2)

HTMLDOC: http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/

The link to its "open source" version isn't working when I just clicked
on it. In the Eclipse Bugzilla, there's a comment that that couldn't be
used by the Eclipse Project itself because its license terms aren't
compatible with the EPL. However, I wonder if the open source version is
still available.

Best regards,
Lee Anne
<HTML>DOC open source page [message #623273 is a reply to message #475444] Thu, 02 April 2009 20:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lee Anne Kowalski is currently offline Lee Anne Kowalski
Messages: 54
Registered: July 2009
Member
Well, after a Google search of HTMLDOC, the page loads:
http://www.htmldoc.org/

Lee Anne Kowalski wrote:
> Mike Melton wrote:
>> We're running a pilot of a stand-alone Infocenter and our users would
>> like to be able to generate PDF output of topics they select. I know
>> it's possible to generate PDFs through the printing feature, but
>> that's not what we want to do.
>>
>> What we would like is to allow users to select non-continuous topics
>> (as they can when restricting search), and then click a button to
>> generate a PDF of the selected topics (on the fly, custom, PDF
>> generation).
>>
>> If anyone has used any extensions or third-party software to do this,
>> I would appreciate hearing about your experience.
>>
>> Thanks!
>> Mike
>>
>
> Gee, the silence is deafening. :-)
>
> Mike, when you say "stand-alone" Infocenter, do you mean an infocenter
> that's hosted at your company and your users visit it there? Or an
> infocenter that you ship to your users and they install it at their
> location? The usage scenario might determine which route is the best way
> to go.
>
> I do not have direct experience to share.
>
> This third-party software was mentioned in the Eclipse Bugzilla that
> involved printing multiple topics (see Comment 2 of
> https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=38196#c2)
>
> HTMLDOC: http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/
>
> The link to its "open source" version isn't working when I just clicked
> on it. In the Eclipse Bugzilla, there's a comment that that couldn't be
> used by the Eclipse Project itself because its license terms aren't
> compatible with the EPL. However, I wonder if the open source version is
> still available.
>
> Best regards,
> Lee Anne
Re: <HTML>DOC open source page [message #623274 is a reply to message #475445] Thu, 02 April 2009 21:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mike Melton is currently offline Mike Melton
Messages: 50
Registered: July 2009
Member
Thanks, Lee Anne! It's always a pleasure.

For now we're only offering our docs through an Infocenter we host
(http://support.citrix.com/proddocs). We're still in beta, so I'm not sure
what our roadmap will be like. I suspect it will include a version our
customers can install locally (with updates, of course).

We'll have a look at htmldoc.org, and I'll write back with our findings.
Re: <HTML>DOC open source page [message #623276 is a reply to message #475446] Fri, 03 April 2009 13:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lee Anne Kowalski is currently offline Lee Anne Kowalski
Messages: 54
Registered: July 2009
Member
Hi Mike,

It would be great if you would post back any findings about htmldoc.org.
I looked briefly at the forums and it would be interesting to hear if
you think it would work for your scenario.

There's a thought that if you're offering the docs through an infocenter
that you're hosting (and so you control what's happening on the back
end), then there might be some other server-based options.

I did a very brief Google search on "HTML to PDF" and there are some
PHP-based ones (just some examples: http://www.rustyparts.com/pdf.php,
and dompdf, and one on Sourceforge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/html2fpdf).

Another idea is that if your HTML content is from DITA, could you have
the DITA Open Toolkit on the server-side, and kick off a PDF
transformation of the ditamap associated with the Eclipse ToC node that
the user wants to print? If that association between what the user wants
to print (say, a specific Eclipse ToC node and HTML files) can be made
on the back-end with the ditamap and DITA files, then you might be able
to leverage 'prettier' PDF characteristics that are available from the
DITA-PDF transform.

Of course, shopping the whole DITA OT to your users might be overkill,
but htmldoc might fit the ship scenario depending on how large it is.

Good luck! I look forward to hearing what you discover.

--Lee Anne



Mike Melton wrote:
> Thanks, Lee Anne! It's always a pleasure.
>
> For now we're only offering our docs through an Infocenter we host
> (http://support.citrix.com/proddocs). We're still in beta, so I'm not
> sure what our roadmap will be like. I suspect it will include a version
> our customers can install locally (with updates, of course).
>
> We'll have a look at htmldoc.org, and I'll write back with our findings.
>
Re: <HTML>DOC open source page [message #636938 is a reply to message #623276] Wed, 03 November 2010 13:10 Go to previous message
Mike Melton is currently offline Mike Melton
Messages: 50
Registered: July 2009
Member
We implemented a short-term solution where our content-development organization pregenerates all the PDFs before uploading Eclipse Help plug-ins to our Infocenter. The solution was based on PowerShell and iText that worked for a while, but doesn't scale well or offer support we need.

For a longer term solution, we're looking at third-party SaaS and in-house solutions that are enterprise ready, offer support, and will free our content-development organization from the responsibility of supporting the system.
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