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Building the DOSBook Database


This chapter describes the process to generate an English DOSBook based upon the DR-DOS User Guide.

The preliminary stage of building DOSBook is to convert the FrameMaker* DR-DOS User Guide to ASCII format. This process is described in more detail below.

Converting the User Guide to ASCII

The first step in building the DOSBook database is to make separate copies of all the files associated with the printed version of the User Guide. You can use FrameMaker to do this. This is just a precaution in case anything should go wrong.

The User Guide is converted to ASCII format, so that the various compiler programs can work on them. This is done in FrameMaker.

1. From the File menu, select Save As. Select the option for Text only. Enter a new name with the extension .TXT and choose the <Save> button. Another dialog box appears which offers the option of having carriage returns at the end of each line or paragraph. You can also select different options as to how the tables will be shown in the ASCII format.

2. Select the options for a carriage return after each line and also to have the tables written as rows. Then choose the <Save> button.

Inserting DOSBook Codes

The next process is for the author to amend the ASCII text for the online documentation. The author needs to add the necessary formatting tags so that it is displayed correctly on the screen. Also, the index entries, pop-ups, markers and references have to be put in manually, to make the database function as a hypertext manual.

Generating the DOSBook Database

Once all the textual changes have been made and all the database codes have been added, the compiler program is used to generate the database. This is done from the system prompt, using the compiler program SVF2OLH. The file SVF2OLH.EXE must either be in the same directory as the .PUB file or you must set up your path to access it.

Since you have to use the compiler many times, it is sensible to use a batch file. The batch file used to produce the English version of DOSBook has the following switches:


The compiler is likely to generate warning messages on your first attempt, because there are duplicate index entries, or links have no destination, or markers are not referred to. This does not stop the compiler producing a database, but you should correct these problems. Errors, however, halt the process; there is a list of these in Appendix B, ``Error Messages''.

When the compilation is successful, the database is created within a text file that has the extension .OLH. The filename corresponds to that of the .PUB file, and the .OLH file is created in the same directory as the .PUB file.

Checking the DOSBook Database

When the compiler does not report any more errors and produces a database, you can test your work by running the DOSBook program. The DOSBook program assumes that your .OLH file is called DRDOS.OLH. Make sure that you have the program DOSBOOK.EXE in the same directory as the DOSBook database (the .OLH file), and then, at the system prompt, enter the following:

You can then run through the database to see if everything is correct. There will probably be places where the appearance or behaviour of information is incorrect, especially if there were warning messages when you compiled the database.

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