Geertjan's Blog

  • September 14, 2005

FeedReader in Stereo

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
The NetBeans FeedReader Tutorial is now available in stereo -- i.e., as an HTML file and as a PDF file. The coolest thing about this is that they're generated from the same source -- the first time that we've done this for any NetBeans doc. One other doc where we did do this was the massive J2EE 1.4 Tutorial for NetBeans IDE, but there we used WebWorks, for which we don't have a license anymore. For FeedReader, all that was used was FrameMaker, together with CSS for styling the HTML file. This has proved, so far (knock on wood), to be an effective and cost-efficient solution (i.e., no expensive WebWorks license needed). There are still quite a few issues to fix, notably the following:
  • Need to bundle the CSS with the HTML.
  • Junk in HTML thanks to FrameMaker.
  • Need to switch the code font back to courier (plus tab problem).
  • Need to fix/add/check:
    • screenshots (maybe add them during post-processing)
    • code (in FrameMaker)
  • Need to check result in different browsers.
  • Strangeness in the username/password on HTML page because of CSS.

Aside from the above formatting/editorial issues, the main area I need to work on in the tutorial is to work on the explanatory parts. One or two people have indicated that more explanations of why things happen needs to be given. That's something I'll be working on in the coming days. Also, a lot more screenshots need to be added, because currently there's a bit too much text.

In the meantime, if anyone has a few minutes to spare, it would be good if you could check out the tutorial and pass on any issues you find.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 4 )
  • Roumen Wednesday, September 14, 2005
    Do you prepare a Dolby Surround version of the tutorial? :-)
  • Hugues Wednesday, September 14, 2005
    Another format that could be interesting is the ThoutReader™ format. Take a look at www.osoft.com. They have few free ebooks available in that format as well as more and more content from well-known publisher (manning, o'reilly,...).
    I found it to be more convenient than PDF (and even HTML) format.
    The user can add comment to the book. All books he owns are in his library which is searchable. The format in which the book is displayed is not in the none sense printed book page format (like PDF). (I'm not saying that pdf is none sense... it is just that it is not as suitable for consulting on a computer monitor).
    (I must admit I fell in love with ThoutReader™ ;)
  • Lucian Pintilie Thursday, September 15, 2005
    I would recommend DocBook. It is basically XML and you can generate various outputs: HTML, PDF, PS. The tools are readily available and free. Even Netbeans offers a DocBook module.
  • fameewo olumide Thursday, August 24, 2006
    you are trying
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