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Getting and building the Firebird manual module

Paul Vinkenoog

26 Oct 2009 – Document version 1.6.1


Table of Contents

Introduction: Purpose of this Howto – Intended audience
Getting the manual module from SourceForge
Building the Firebird docs
Keeping your manual module up to date
If things go wrong
Advanced topic: Improving the PDF
A. Document History
B. License notice

Introduction: Purpose of this Howto – Intended audience

This Howto explains, step by step, how you can download and build the manual module from the Firebird Project at SourceForge.

What is this "manual module" anyway?

The manual module is part of the Firebird Project at SourceForge. It is a collective effort, aimed at producing comprehensive and accurate documentation on the Firebird RDBMS (Relational Database Management System).

It is important to understand that the manual module contains the documentation in source form – to be more precise: in DocBook XML format. These sources need to be processed (built) to obtain easily readable docs, which can then be published on the Internet.

Apart from the manual module, is there any other Firebird documentation?

Yes! At the time of this writing, most useful Firebird documentation has been produced outside the Firebird manual module. We still have a long way to go before the documentation in the manual module will be anywhere near complete. In fact, one of the reasons this Howto is written is that it can help would-be docwriters to overcome their first hurdles.

If you are looking for ready Firebird documentation and lots of it, your best starting places are:

Do I really have to build the docs myself? Isn't there an easier way?

Sure there's an easier way. As soon as a piece of documentation reaches a certain level of maturity, it is published – in PDF and HTML – on the Firebird website. You can find all the docs we have published via the Firebird Documentation Index (see link above).

You should download the manual module and build the docs yourself if and only if:

  • You want to check on the absolutely latest state of the docs. (Be aware though that one of the reasons a version has not yet been published may be that it contains errors.)

  • You want to help write documentation yourself.

  • You're interested in learning how this doc building stuff works, and/or you think DIY is more fun than an easy file download.

If one of the above applies to your situation, this Howto is for you.

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