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Decrius

Writing reference manuals / manpages (LaTeX?)

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I'm exploring my options around documenting my software as manpages / reference manuals. One of the possible options would be using LaTeX to write those manuals.

It would give me nice PDF files to pass along with the sources or put online. But I'd also like to have the documentation available in HTML format or inside a MediaWiki. I'm not sure if this all is possible with LaTeX. Anyone experience with this?

Or what other options would I have? Troff could be one...but I kind of like the PDF output LaTeX gives me...

Thank you.

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There's a latex2html engine freely available.

You could also look at Lyx -- it's a word processor which uses LaTeX as its typesetting engine. So you get all the usability of Word, plus the advantages of LaTeX.

If you're going to write LaTeX by hand, I recommend looking at the "memoir" package. It's far easier to write your documents in memoir and sort out the style to begin with than it is to later on try and get other packages to do the page layouts you want.

If you then define everything up as \MYHEADER and \MYDIAGRAM and so on, then you don't have to worry about the format and can just get on with the content without constantly needing to fiddle with the format (which is, IMHO, one of the big advantages of working in that environment).



If you're going to write actual UNIX style manpages, however, you have to ultimately end up with troff, because that's how they're stored on disk. TBH, I normally just find a manpage that has the features I need, rip the original content out of it and go from there because it's been 20 years since I actually learned troff.

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