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section x-masysma-name title date lang author keywords x-masysma-version x-masysma-repository x-masysma-website x-masysma-owned x-masysma-copyright
d5man2 D5Man 2
2019/12/06 13:16:32
Linux-Fan, (
Copyright (c) 2019, 2020, 2022 For further info send an e-mail to

Overview D5Man 2 is a set of programs and auxiliary resources intended to build a locally run knowledge base. It consists of the following individual components:

d5manapi : Application Programming Interface providing access to page metadata by means of a REST (Representional State Transfer) interface. See d5manapi for details. d5mantui : Terminal User Interface as an interactive means to query for D5Man pages. See d5mantui for details. d5manexport : Multiple programs to export a special instance of pandoc's Markdown by invoking the pandoc utility (not part of D5Man). Two export scripts are supplied: d5manexportpdf exports a single page to a printable PDF document; d5manexporthtml exports a whole directory structure of D5Man pages to a specified directory. IAL (Information and Links) : The D5Man API allows for integration of pages which are not in D5Man's Pandoc Markdown format but e.g. HTML by specifying separate files with D5Man-style metadta for such existing files. See Information and Links (IAL) for details. Auxiliary Resources : The package provides a syntax file as a replacement for VIM's default Markdown style. This style makes sections more visible and is loosely inspired by the style used in D5Man Legacy.

This version “D5Man 2” replaces D5Man Legacy which was an attempt to achieve a similar outcome but in a much more sophisticated manner leading to excessive complexity.

D5Man Structure and Concepts

D5Man is centered around the concept of D5Man pages: A D5Man page is a text file written in a subset of pandoc's Markdown together with a minimum amount of metadata in YAML format and with optional attachment files. The details of the format are described under D5Man Format 2.

Filesystem Structure

Two ways of organizing D5Man pages on file systems are recommended:

  1. Document-Root: A directory structure which consists only of D5Man pages (or other data processable by the D5Man API Server). On the top-level there is one directory per section and the respective sections contain one ore multiple D5Man documents each.
  2. Program-Root: A directory structure which consists of programs' repositories. Here, pages are represented by the files named in the subdirectories of the root.

A third option is detached, that is a directory unknown to the D5Man programs which contains one or more pages. Such files are not found by the D5Man API Server but can still be converted to PDF.

Example for a Document-Root Structure: IAL

 +-- 21/
 |    |
 |    +-- ada_att/
 |    |    |
 |    |    +-- ...
 |    |
 |    +-- ant_att/
 |    |    |
 |    |    +-- ...
 |    |
 |    +-- ada.yml
 |    |
 |    +-- ant.yml
 |    |
 |    +-- ...
 +-- ...

Example for a Program-Root Structure: Repositories

 +-- bo-adler32/
 |    |
 |    +--
 |    |
 |    +-- ...
 +-- bo-big/
 |    |
 |    +-- big4_att/
 |    |    |
 |    |    +-- screenshot3.png
 |    |
 |    +--
 |    |
 |    +-- ...
 +-- ...


D5Man is designed as a sort of personal Wiki that can have a published part. To achieve the separation between published and private parts, different sections are used. Each page is assigned a section, which by convention is a number of two digits (i.e. ranges from 10 to 99).

  • Pages are created, edited and viewed in a text editor which is by default configured to be VIM.
  • If ready for the Internet, pages are exported to XHTML and can then be uploaded to any webspace. Alternatively, if pages are to be printed, they can be exported to PDF. All export uses Pandoc internally.
  • The D5Man User Interface runs in a terminal emulator. This way, all interactive parts are available from the commandline. Additionally, for “browsing” large pieces of information (like e.g. an API documentation), a web-based interface is desirable. Thus there is also a read-only web-based interface for exactly that purpose called IAL (Information and Links).

A typical workflow for creating a page is as follows:

  1. Create an empty page by copying from a template file ( to a file in a section directory or repository's
  2. Populate the file with information.
  3. Optionally: Export the file to target format of choice and print it or upload it to the Internet.

To edit or recall a page, enter a prefix of the page's name in d5mantui and once it appears in the search results, open it by pressing ENTER.


Compared to other personal Wiki approaches, D5Man provides the following set of advantages:

  • Terminal-only workflow possible. This allows for good integration into an environment where most applications in use are also running in terminals.
  • Full control over individual files: D5Man does not write to the documents below the “roots” except for creating new pages. Apart from that, writing is the sole responsibility of the text editor. Additionally, pages exist as dedicated files allowing existing backup procedures to be effective for saving D5Man files as well.
  • Partial Publishing. It is possible to publish only a subset of the actually present documents as to distinguish between public and private information. Use of different sections for this purpose makes the distinction clear at all times.
  • Balanced Markup Language. D5Man Legacy proposed an own syntax. While it is superior in certain aspects, it turned out to be too difficult to parse correctly. Thus D5Man 2 uses a thoughtfully crafted subset of Pandoc's Markdown which ensures compatibility with printed and web-based formats and provides reasonably well-readable and easily editable source files.
  • Minimality. After a failed attempt to develop a “large” system for the purpose, D5Man 2 stays minimal. At the core (Perl and Erlang parts), its source code is less than 1000 lines of code!


There are countless approaches to do static blogs or personal wikis. As documentation is often available online, there is less and less need for the functionality provided by Information and Links. The following lists some alternative softwares to cover individual aspects of D5Man. There does not seem to be a comprehensive substitute with all the benefits, though.

Local Wikis

Static website generation with Markdown

Close-to-comprehensive list:, some candiates: Hugo, Jekyll

Offline Documentation Management (IAL Alternative)

D5Man Format 2

If you are interested in the old D5Man Legacy format, see d5man/legacy(32). Here, a selected subset of the elements from the rich syntax described in the Pandoc documentation is presented in order to obtain a sensible subset. Of course, there is no technical restriction for sticking to this subset.

D5Man's text format is expected to always be read and written in UTF-8 encoding.


A D5Man 2 Document begins with a header of following form:

section: 32
x-masysma-name: d5man2
title: D5Man 2
lang: en-US
author: ["Linux-Fan, ("]
keywords: ["d5man", "d5man2", "d5manapi", "d5mantui", "ial"]

This header which follows YAML syntax is called the metadata in D5Man. It is a set of key-value assignments of form key: value. All fields which do not have any special meaning for Pandoc are prefixed x-masysma- as to indicate that they are additional fields used for D5Man. The use of the fields is as follows:

section (required) : Defines the section this page is part of. It is not really used in its Pandoc meaning (which would be the section for an actual manpage exported from the document), but the concept of D5Man manpages and actual manpages is similar to some extent (both provide textual information). title (required) : Defines a document title (in legacy D5Man called description) which is a single large heading to go above the document. lang (optional) : Gives the language in which the document (and/or its metadata) are written. author (optional) : Gives a list of authors. Syntax ["Linux-Fan,"] creates a YAML list with just one element in the example above. keywords (required) : A list of keywords (also in YAML syntax) to assign to the page. Note that D5Man API search querys consider only x-masysma-name, section and keywords and matches case-sensitively against prefixes. It is thus often useful to provide sensible subsets of the page's name in the keywords section. In legacy D5Man, this was called tags. date (optional) : Specifies the date of document creation in YYYY/MM/DD HH:ii:ss format. toc (optional) : Controls the generation of a table of contents for PDF exports (processed by pandoc only). x-masysma-name (required) : Determines the page's name. For newly created pages, it is recommended to chose names satisfying the regex [a-z0-9_/]+. Other names are supported, but may not contain any whitespace or other characters that are uncommon in file names processed by scripts (except for /). For Document-Root organizazion, the file name should be the page's name with / replaced by _ and an additional .md suffix. For tasks, suffix .hot should be used. x-masysma-task-priority (required and only allowed for tasks) : Specifies the priority of this task (cf. section D5Man TUI Task Management). Allowed values are the following: red, green, black, white, yellow, purple, delayed, considered. x-masysma-task-type (required and only allowed for tasks) : Specifies the type fo this task (cf. section D5Man TUI Task Management). Allowed values are the following: long, short, subtask, periodic. x-masysma-version, x-masysma-copyright (optional) : Specifies a version and copyright for the document (and the program it is describing). Format and use of these fields are entirely up to the user. x-masysma-repository (optional) : Provides a link to the source code repository associated with the document and/or the software it describes. x-masysma-website (optional) : Provides a link to the respective page on the ( Website. This allows e.g. Github users to find the Website which provides a correctly exported (i.e. readable) version of the distorted view that Github creates out of D5Man's Markdown files. x-masysma-owned (optional) : If present, this enables the inclusion of Logo and Icons in exported PDF files. Of course, the logos can also be replaced by different ones for local usage. Or one can leave out this key to avoid the use of logos in the export results altogether. x-masysma-redirect (optional) : This field either gives an absolute URL (https://...) or a file name. In case a file name is given, the given file (relative to the attachment directory) is opened instead of opening the page when running from D5Man TUI. All pages available through IAL need to supply this field. x-masysma-download (optional) : Specify an URL for downloading a file (used for Website generation). x-masysma-web-priority, x-masysma-web-changefreq (optional) : Defines a priority (0.0--1.0) and a change frequency (monthly, weekly etc.) to be used in sitemaps generated during the XHTML export. Default is priority=0.4, changefreq=monthly. x-masysma-expires (optional) : Expiry date. Same format as date. The meaning of this field is up to the user's interpretation.

Section Structure

The section structure used by the is as given in the following table.

Sec Short Description

11 Documentation in the style of a classical man-page. 21 IAL as generated from documentation 22 IAL hand-added files 23 IAL internal 31 Website pages providing general website content (navigation, license, ...). 32 Documentation for current developments (programs, scripts, etc.) 33 Legacy (currently unused) 34 Creative section with Mods and Stories 35 not public: UNI notes 37 Blog, Knowledge Base, self-contained pages, other public notes 42 not public: user notes 43 not public: tasks


By convention, images included in the document are stored in a directory called the same as the page's name with (/ replaced by _) and a suffix _att (instead of .md).

For instance, this has name d5man2 thus the attachments would be stored in a directory d5man2_att next to the file. For page d5man/legacy, attachments go to d5man_legacy_att etc.

Additionally, images which are supplied in vector formats (SVG or PDF) are included by their file name without extension. This allows the LaTeX export to use a PDF file and the XHTML export to use a SVG file without changing the source file. Finally, D5Man's XHTML export also instantiates a simple automatic conversion from PDF to SVG in order to avoid storing redundant vector graphics in the attachments directory.

Unlike legacy D5Man, an explicit list of all files attached is no longer needed to be declared in the documents themselves.

Top-Level Structure

Documents consist of the leading metadata block (see Metadata) followed by a D5Man document which consists of headings, lists, tables, code and paragraphs.


D5Man proposes three levels of headings. The top-level headings are underlined by equals signs. The second-level headings are prefixed by ## (hash-hash-space). The third-level headings are prefixed by ### (hash-hash-hash-space). The following code shows all the heading styles.

Top-Level Heading

Top-Level (e.g. introductory) content.

## Second-Level Heading

Second-Level Content

### Third-Level Heading aka. List Title

Inner Content / End of example.


D5Man has numbered, unnumbered and definition lists. Legacy D5Man also proposed pro and contra-style lists which are as of now not retained in D5Man 2. Unnumberd list items are prefixed by an asterisk (*), numbered lists are prefixed by the item's number followed by a dot (1., 2., etc.) and description lists' contents are prefixed by a : at the beginning of the first line of the description list's content. Note that for description lists, the offset from the left has to be exactly four characters wide (: / colon-space-space-space on the first line; / space-space-space-space on the second line onwards). Here are examples for the respective list types.

Description List
:   This is the term being described.
    This is the second line of the term being described.
Second Description List Item
:   Another item to be described.

 1. First Item of a numbered list:
    This item has an additional line in source code.
 2. Second
 3. Third
 4. Fourth

 * Item 1 of the unnumberd list has
   two lines in source code.
 * Item 2 has a single line.
    * Nested Item a
    * Nested Item b
 * Item 3


Two distinct notations exist for tables: Tables with headings and without headings. All tables start from the first character in the line and leave two spaces between columns.

For tables with headings, there is a single dashed line below the individual headings. Example:

Caption 1   Caption 2
----------  ------------
Inner Cell  Inner Cell 2
Other Cell  Last Cell

For tables without headings, the same dashed lines are created and put above and below the respective table. Leaving out the captions, the table from before becomes this:

----------  ------------
Inner Cell  Inner Cell 2
Other Cell  Last Cell
----------  ------------


Top-level code can be declared by either indenting the code with at least a single tab character or by enclosing it in lines with three tilde characters (~~~).

Example for tilde-based code section (the source code uses indentation to make this appear as code in the output document):

code content

The tilde-based notation allows for a programming language to be declared by replacing the first ~~~ with ~~~{.language} where language is replaced by a programming language name as known to pandoc. Examples include c, markdown and java.

Alternatively, here is the indented variant (the source code uses tilde symbols to make this appear as code in the output document):

	code content

Paragraphs and Inline Formatting

Paragraphs are just regular text separated by two newlines. Throughout the document's text, it is possible to use inline formatting to place emphasis, links etc. It is described in the following.

Code : By using backtick-quotation, inline code can be expressed (`code` displays code). Escaping backticks inline requires them to be sourrounded by more backticks and space. See for details. Emphasis : Like the legacy D5Man format, Markdown supports emphasis by surrounding the text to be emphasized with underscores e.g. _emphasized_ yields emphasized. Superset and subset : Putting something in an index works by adding tilde symbols (~) around the part to be lowered, e.g. H~2~O for H2O. Elevating parts of a word is possible by surrounding it with hat symbols (^) e.g. 10^2^ for 10^2^ Links : Links to URLs or other pages are of format [shortcut name](URL) e.g. [Example Page]( gives Example Page. If a link is given by URL only, it is given in angled-brackets like this: <> gives To link to another D5Man page, its XHTML name needs to be given: [d5man/legacy(32)](d5man_legacy.xhtml) gives d5man/legacy(32). By convention, the link to another page is labelled by that page's name followed by its section in parentheses. To link to pages in other sections, one needs to prefix ../SECTION to the link's target due to the D5Man directory structure being organized in sections (even if it was originally a Program-Root structure, D5Man export always generates files as if they were part of a Document-Root structure). Note that unlike in legacy D5Man, links are expected to only work for the XHTML export. Navigating the hypertext directly inside the editor is no longer a supported use case. Math : Inline Math is only supported for the PDF exports and can be expressed by LaTeX' single-dollar notation, e.g. $\binom{1}{1}$ becomes $\binom{1}{1}$.

For qotation and symbols, legacy D5Man used some automatic replacement logic. With the new version, this feature is no longer available, thus the use of UTF-8 symbols is suggested. On some Linux systems, quotation is easily available by [ALTGR]-[V] (), [ALTGR]-[B] () and [ALTGR]-[N] ().

Forced spaces (aka. non-breaking spaces) can be inserted by using the respective unicode symbols. As described by Thomas Peklak, a single non-breaking space can be entered in VIM by pressing [CTRL]-[K] [SPACE] [SPACE]. Similarly, a forced half-space can be entered by using the sequence [CTRL]-[V] [U] [2] [0] [2] [F].

Arrows are best inserted by using their UTF-8 symbols. The paragraph below shows a few examples, see for a more comprehensive treatise.

Arrows: ← → ↑ ↓ ⇐ ⇒ ⇔


The general syntax for images is ![CAPTION](FILE). By convention, FILE is given relative to the page's file and if it is associated directly to the page, then it is placed in a directory with the page's name concatenated with a trailing _att.

For instance, an attachment test.png for this very page would be loaded by specifying ![Test](d5man2_att/test.png).

Note that for .svg and .pdf files the extension of the image file name is normally not given in order to allow an automatic detection by pandoc/LaTeX to take place.

Compiling and Installing D5Man 2

D5Man 2 requires an Erlang OTP runtime and a suitable Perl interpreter as well as a selection of Perl modules. A declaration of all dependencies for an installation on a Debian stable system can be found in file build.xml.

Only the Erlang-based d5manapi requires external dependencies and needs to be compiled, all other D5Man 2 components are scripts and run without compilation or further processing. By providing along with d5manapi, compilation should automatically download all dependencies if a working Erlang OTP runtime can be found.

To compile the individual parts, it might be sufficient to call make in directory d5manapi. If this succeeds, all components are already on disk. To generate an installable Debian package, ant and the usual build tools for Debian packages are required. One can then build the package by invoking ant package in the repository's top-level directory.


The D5Man API server loads metadata for all pages into RAM and provides a REST API to query the respective metadata.

Configuration builds a script d5manapi_release to run the server which can be invoked as follows:

bin/d5manapi_release foreground [-config CONFIG]

Here, CONFIG refers to an optional configuration file. Default values for the configuration can be found in d5manapi/rel/sys.config and are as follows:

[{d5manapi, [
	{ip, {127, 0, 0, 1}},
	{port, 7450},
	{redirect_url_prefix, ""},
	{fs, #{
		rrman => "/data/main/119_man_rr",
		ial   => "/data/main/120_mdvl_rr/bo-d5man2/ial/home",
		local => "/data/main/120_mdvl_rr/br-ial-local"
	{db_roots, [

The lines with ip, port and redirect_url_prefix configure the server's address. For local usage, it is highly recommended to set ip to the defined

The other parts of the configuration most likely require changes for local use. They are dividied into fs and db_roots which can be described as follows:

fs : Provides an association of server paths to local paths. This essentially makes the D5Man API server serve static files. For instance in this configuration, file /data/main/300t399_man_rr/21/ada_att/rm-0-1.html is available thorugh the server at db_roots : Declares a list of directories to consult for D5Man pages. They can be either in Document-Root or Program-Root organization. All the pages found below the respective roots will be available for querying.

Note that for Linux usage, script d5manapi/aux/d5manapi is provided. It invokes the server automatically detecting the presence of a configuration file in $HOME/.mdvl/d5man/d5manapi.conf. Additionally, a systemd unit d5manapi.service is provided. It is intended to be installed as a user-service. See d5manapi.service for details.


Once configured, d5manapi can be started and awaits connections from other D5Man components (i.e. d5mantui or IAL).

The API currently exposes a single endpoint called query. It can be invoked as follows:


Without any actual query string, this will return all elements in the database up to the default limit of 100. To configure a different limit, use query parameter limit e.g. as follows:


This query returns four elements from the database..

To send a query string, use it as path:


This sends query 31 web to the server which returns all pages in section 31 which match query string web.

Currently, the API always outputs XML. An example output from the API can look as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
			<kv k="file" v="/data/main/300t399_man_rr/21/erlang.yml"/>
			<kv k="section" v="21"/>
			<kv k="name" v="erlang/snmp_user_based_sm_mib:delete_user/1"/>
			<kv k="tags" v="erlang snmp_user_based_sm_mib:delete_user/1 snmp_user_based_sm_mib delete_user/1"/>
			<kv k="redirect" v=""/>
			<kv k="file" v="/data/main/300t399_man_rr/21/erlang.yml"/>
			<kv k="section" v="21"/>
			<kv k="name" v="erlang/snmp_user_based_sm_mib:delete_user/1"/>
			<kv k="tags" v="erlang snmp_user_based_sm_mib:delete_user/1 snmp_user_based_sm_mib delete_user/1"/>
			<kv k="redirect" v=""/>

The format is a little “complicated” for being mostly compatible with D5Man Legacy page files. It consists of a single d5man element which contains separate page elements for each page. In case of this API, each page contains exactly (and only) one meta element which in turn contains the actual metadata in form of kv (key-value) elements. Metadata file, section and name are expected to be always present. tags contains a space-separated list of tags obtained from keywords declarations in the files. In case a page is not expected to be opened directly, redirect indicates the page to open instead.

The example XML from above shows metadata as can be generated by script ial/pgen/ for the Erlang documentation.


The D5Man Terminal User Interface (TUI) is a special-purpose client for the D5Man API. It displays query results interactively in the terminal while typing the query.


d5mantui [--documents-only|--board|--delayed|--subtask] [query]


D5Man TUI can be configured by providing a suitable XML property file. In the XML format, the default configuration looks as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
	<entry key="d5man.ui.command.editor"
		>vim -c "let g:d5man_api_url=\"${d5man.api.url}\""</entry>
	<entry key="d5man.ui.command.browser">firefox</entry>
	<entry key="d5man.ui.newpage.root">/data/main/119_man_rr</entry>
	<entry key="d5man.api.url"></entry>

The syntax is a subset of Java's XML properties (initially, d5mantui was intended to be a Java client).

For very simple installations (where no new pages are going to be created, e.g. when using IAL only), the defaults may be sufficient. In other cases, the d5man.ui.newpage.root needs to be changed to point to the Document-Root to place newly created pages in.

Syntax ${} can be used to refer to any of the other properties from inside a given entry. It is currently not possible to escape the $ to not expand the variable substition.

To find the XML file, D5Man TUI looks in environment variable $D5MAN_CONF_UI and if that is absent, attempts to load file $HOME/.mdvl/d5man/d5mantui_properties.xml.


The screen could e.g. look as follows:

> erlan
<o> 21 erlang/array:to_list/1
< > 21 erlang/base64:encode_to_string/1
< > 21 erlang/binary:matches/3
< > 21 erlang/code:load_abs/1
< > 21 erlang/common_test:Module:suite/0
< > 21 erlang/ct_snmp:set_values/4
< > 21 erlang/ct_snmp:unregister_users/1
< > 21 erlang/dbg:get_tracer/1
< > 21 erlang/dict:fetch_keys/1
< > 21 erlang/dict:merge/3
< > 21 erlang/digraph:info/1
< > 21 erlang/disk_log:block/1
< > 21 erlang/erl_syntax:receive_expr_action/1
< > 21 erlang/erl_syntax:record_type_field_type/1
< > 21 erlang/erlang:fun_info/2
< > 21 erlang/ets:match_object/3
< > 21 erlang/ets:to_dets/2
< > 21 erlang/gl:bindVertexArray/1
< > 21 erlang/gl:clear/1
< > 21 erlang/gl:createShaderObjectARB/1
< > 21 erlang/gl:deleteBuffers/1
< > 21 erlang/gl:getHandleARB/1
	2 New           4 All           6 Docs  7 Board 8 W+1   9 Tasks

The first line is a prompt where the user can enter any query that will be sent to D5Man API. The list below displays the search results and can be scrolled with [UP] and [DOWN] arrows on the keyboard. Upon pressing [ENTER], the selected page is opened.

All commandline arguments to d5manqtui are treated as an input for the prompt. If the initial query (as given on the commandline) yields exactly one result, the TUI will not be displayed and the respective page will be opened directly.

Function keys can be used as described in the following subsections.

[F2] -- New Page/Task

One can press [F2] to create a new page. To do this, the input at the prompt needs to be in format SECTION NAME i.e. the new page's section followed by its name. [F2] will then copy a predefined template to a new file and open it in the configured editor. Note that this function only supports Document-Root organization for creating new files. If SECTION is set to 43 then a task rather than a page will be created.

D5Man TUI Task Management

Since package version 1.0.54, D5Man provides some basic means to manage “tasks”, i.e. TODO lists or issues or the like. The idea behind this scheme is to leverage the Markdown format and D5Man's querying capabilities for management of tasks. Two distinct dimensions are considered to organize tasks:

  1. The task type specifies if this task is long, short, periodic or a subtask. The order of display is: periodic, then long, then short. Subtasks are hidden by default and provided on a separate “tasks” screen.
  2. The task priority specifies how important a task is by assinging colors (purple, red, yellow, green, black, white). The use of the colors is up to the user. Instead of a color a task can also be in state considered or delayed: Considered means that it should be kept in mind but is not assigned any priority (think: very low priority) and delayed means that it should be hidden by default because it is not expected to be worked on any time soon (e.g. not in the current week).

D5Man assings the file extension .hot to task files to distinguish them from documents and all tasks are placed and expected to be in section 43. D5Man automatically finds tasks in Document-Root structures' section 43. Also, it scans the directories in Program-Root structures for files and adds them to the tasks to consider.

The x-masysma-name field is expected to be set to a short identifier (e.g. code and number or similar) whereas the title is expected to summarize the matter of the issue.

[F4] -- All

Displays all results for the given query (default). Queries will return tasks as well as documents depending on which matches the input string.

[F6] -- Docs

Hides tasks from the result list. This is equivalent to invoking d5mantui with argument --documents-only.

[F7] -- Board

Filters the results for large tasks that are currently considered. This is all tasks that have a priority not equals to delayed and which are also not of type subtask. This is equivalent to invoking d5mantui with argument --board.

[F8] -- Week + 1

Filters the results for tasks that are currently delayed. This is equivalent to invoking d5mantui with argument --delayed.

[F9] -- Tasks

Specifically filters for all subtasks. This is equivalent to invoking d5mantui with argument --subtask.



d5manexportpdf -- Script to export D5Man 2 Pandoc Markdown to PDF




This invokes pandoc on the provided filename and writes the export result to (i.e. adds extension .pdf to the input file name). Note that due to hardcoded paths, this script only works if D5Man 2 is installed (e.g. as a Debian package).

The script deliberately contains almost no logic at all. This allows it to be ported to other scripting languages like Windows Batch. Additionally, a “regular” pandoc invocation can serve as a fallback if D5Man 2 is not available.



This should produce a nicely readable PDF for any instructions supplied as part of repositories.

Troubleshooting export issues

If the export fails during the invocation of pdflatex, it will most likely generate a meaningless error message. Here is a regex for finding unicode chars which might not be supported:





d5manexporthtml -- Export D5Man 2 roots to multiple XHTML pages


d5manexporthtml -o DESTDIR -i ROOT[,ROOT...] [-s SECTION[,SECTION...]] [-m PDF2SVG] [-u URLPREFIX] [-- PANDOCOPTIONS...]


D5Man 2's HTML export exports a selection of sections from (optionally multiple) root directories to a given output directory structure. The output structure resembles a Document-Root structure independently of whether the given ROOT directories are Document-Root or Program-Root organized.

In addition to the exported XHTML pages, a sitemap.xml and .htaccess files are generated to allow hosting the result structure online. PDF attachments are automatically converted to SVG.


-o DESTDIR : Configures the output directory to be DESTDIR -i ROOT[,ROOT...] : Configures a comma-separated list of input directories. (As a result, it is currently impossible to process directories which contain comma as part of their name) -s SECTION[,SECTION...] : Specifies a list of sections to export. If this is not given, the default value of 11,31,32,33,34,37,38,39 will be used. -m PDF2SVG : Specifies the path to a pdf2svg executable. On Debian systems, package pdf2svg can be installed and then the default /usr/bin/pdf2svg will be sufficient. In other cases, it might be necessary to create an auxiliary script that invokes Inkscape or another tool capable of converting PDF to SVG. The pdf2svg is expected to take the input PDF file as its first parameter and the output SVG file as its second parameter. -u URLPREFIX : Defines a prefix to be used for sitemap generation. By default, it is set to &masysma_url_prefix; which will most likely not work. In case the generated sitemap is of interest, this parameter needs to be given and have an URL value. The Website uses -u, for instance. -- PANDOCOPTIONS... : After the double dashes, an arbitrary number of pandoc options can be given which are passed directly to the pandoc command. Most users will want to specify a --template=... here in order to obtain a nicely formatted page up to their liking. Variables

Using this script, the invocation of pandoc is passed the following additional variables:

x-masysma-source : Set to the Markdown source code file name for the current page. x-masysma-meta-revised : Set to the pages last modification in UTC (YYYY-mm-dd HH:ii:ss) x-masysma-revised-human : Set to the pages last modification in local timezone (YYYY/mm/dd HH:ii:ss)


As an example, consider downloading some of the Repositories into a common directory tree to obtain a structure as shown above in section Example for a Program-Root Structure: Repositories.

Then, you could create an XHTML export of their contents as follows:

$ mkdir /tmp/test
$ d5manexporthtml -o /tmp/test -i /rr

Below the output directory /tmp/test, this will create a document-root structure of output files like this:

 +-- 11/
 |    |
 |    +-- maloadmon_att/
 |    |    |
 |    |    +-- ...
 |    |
 |    +-- ...
 +-- 32/
 |    |
 |    +--
 |    |
 |    +-- d5man2.xhtml
 |    |
 |    +-- ...
 +-- ...

Opening d5man2.xhtml one can see the XHTML representation of this very page, it might look as follows:

Excerpt from exporting this very page to XHTML (beginning of the page shown)

Without further options, exporting uses the template supplied with pandoc. If you want to use this for your own purposes, it makes sense to derive an own template for customization.

Information and Links (IAL)

Information and Links provides a system for storing and using (potentially large) pieces of documentation offline. For this purpose, IAL 1.5 integrates with D5Man 2 by providing a web interface and a set of scripts contained in the following directory structure in the repository:

ial/pgen (scripts) : Provides scripts to prepare existing pieces of documentation for use with IAL.

ial/home (web interface) : Contains a “template” to use as a web interface to IAL. The implementation is mostly contained in JavaScript file ial15.js with the remainder of the files serving as a GUI skeleton.

Assumptions : By default, IAL assumes that all pages to be considered for IAL are in sections 21 (for automatically generated pages) and 22 (for hand-crafted pages) respectively.


The scripts provided as part of the repository require the co-maartifact repository for maartifact(11) to be present next to bo-d5man2.

Invoking the individual scripts then creates directories with files suitable for copying into an appropriate document-root D5Man 2 structure. Each script may have additional requirements/features which are documented at the beginning of its source code.

Web Interface

Assumptions : The web interface assumes that all IAL pages contain a x-masysma-redirect field to identify the HTML page or website to open. This makes webbrowser integration easy at the expense of not allowing “regular” D5Man 2 pages to be visible in the web interface.

TODO Provide an example screen and usage howto, explain how API serves the pages TODO Provide a script to copy/update resource directories

About D5Man searches and processes self-created and existing documentation with a single-user offline scenario in mind.






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