4.6. Documentation Toolchain

Wireshark’s documentation is split across two directories. The doc directory contains man pages written in Perl’s POD (Plain Old Documentation) format. The docbook directory contains the User’s Guide, Developer’s Guide, and the release notes, which are written in Asciidoctor markup.

Our various output formats are generated using the following tools. Intermediate formats are in italics.

Man page roff
Man page HTML
Guide HTML
Asciidoctor → DocBook XML → xsltproc + DocBook XSL
Guide PDF
Release notes HTML
Release notes text
Asciidoctor → HTML → html2text.py

4.6.1. Asciidoctor

Asciidoctor comes in several flavors: a Ruby gem (Asciidoctor), a Java bundle (AsciidoctorJ), and transpiled JavaScript (Asciidoctor.js). Any of them can be used to build Wireshark’s documentation.

The guides and release notes were originally written in DocBook (hence the directory name). They were later converted to AsciiDoc and then migrated to Asciidoctor. We currently use Asciidoctor’s modern (>= 1.5.0) syntax.

PDF output requires Asciidoctor’s PDF backend. It is included with AsciidoctorJ and Asciidoctor.js but not with Asciidoctor.

4.6.2. DocBook XML and XSL

Converting from DocBook to HTML requires the DocBook DTD (http://www.sagehill.net/docbookxsl/ToolsSetup.html) and DocBook stylesheets (http://www.sagehill.net/docbookxsl/InstallStylesheets.html). These are available via installable packages on most Linux distributions, Chocolatey, and Homebrew.

4.6.3. xsltproc

xsltproc converts DocBook XML to various formats based on XSL stylesheets. It either ships as part of the operating system or is available via an installable package on most Linux distributions, Chocolatey, and Homebrew.