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README

Welcome to SDF (Simple Document Format) 2.001beta1
==================================================

What is SDF?
------------

SDF (Simple Document Format) is a freely available document development
system which generates high quality outputs in a variety of formats
from a single source. The output formats supported include
PostScript(tm), PDF, HTML, plain text, POD, man pages, LaTeX,
MIF, SGML, Windows(tm) help, RTF, MIMS F6 help and MIMS HTX help.
If the idea of specifying documents in a logical manner via a
simple markup language sounds appealing, SDF may be useful to you.

SDF documents are simple to create and maintain, minimising the time
spent on documentation. In particular, SDF directly supports the
creation and maintenance of large, on-line documentation systems
(including intranets) via centralised hypertext management and
rule-based hypertext generation. As well as normal documents,
SDF is useful for:

* user manuals (paper-based and online)
* online document catalogs
* Perl module documentation
* Delphi(tm) component documentation
* source code listings (pretty printing most languages).

SDF is also good for literate programming, i.e. documentation can
be embedded in the comments of most programming languages and can be
selectively extracted. The embedded documentation can be in any
markup language you like, although there are advantages to using
SDF's markup language.

SDF is freely available for commercial and non-commercial use.
See the LICENSE file for details.

Requirements
------------

SDF has been completely developed in Perl, a popular and highly
portable scripting language. Perl 5.004 or later is recommended,
although SDF will probably run on earlier versions of Perl 5.

To generate PostScript, SDF requires one of the following:

* the freely available pod2ps program
* the freely available SGML-Tools and LaTeX packages
* FrameMaker 5.x or later
* a word processor which can import RTF.

Earlier versions of FrameMaker will generally work, but I don't
explicitly support them.

To generate PDF, Adobe's Acrobat is recommended.

To generate Windows help, a help compiler (e.g. hcp.exe) is required.


Installation
------------

Installation instructions are provided in the INSTALL file.
These instructions are also provided in the "SDF User Guide"
(http://www.mincom.com/mtr/sdf/user/in_insta.html).


Further Information
-------------------

For the latest information and further details on SDF, see the
SDF home page (http://www.mincom.com/mtr/sdf/).

The following mailing lists are available:

* sdf-users@mincom.com - for general questions
* sdf-bugs@mincom.com - for reporting bugs and fixes.

To subscribe to these lists, send email to
sdf-users-request@mincom.com and/or
sdf-bugs-request@mincom.com for instructions on
using factotum, the majordomo variant that manages these lists.
In short, send email to factotum@mincom.com with a
message body of "subscribe sdf-users" or "subscribe sdf-bugs".

Share and enjoy,
Ian Clatworthy
ianc@mincom.com
27-Oct-98