18. 2.000beta6

Enhancements | Fixes | Incompatibilities

18.1. Enhancements

18.1.1. Easier Usage

sdfcvt is now called sdf. Furthermore, a -2 option has been added which simply maps through to the relevant alias. i.e.

   sdfcvt +sdf2ps abc.sdf

can now be specfied via:

   sdf -2ps abc.sdf

As a side effect of this, the sdfcvt.ini file has disappeared - its contents have been merged into sdf.ini.

The sdf2... wrapper scripts are still available, but are no longer documented.

The -2 option may eventually support a list of formats. e.g.

   sdf -2ps,html abc.sdf

18.1.2. FrameMaker 5 Support

FrameMaker 5 can now be used instead of FrameMaker 4. This has several advantages:

  • a larger range of figure types can now be imported
  • book generation via fmbatch no longer causes a core dump
  • useful PDF can be generated (see below).

The main disadvantage is that FrameMaker 5 has a bug in calculating the last page number in books.

18.1.3. Easier Figures

As FrameMaker 5 supports a larger range of figure types, the search rules for figures without an extension have now been expanded. The new rules are given below.

Format Extensions
html gif
hlp bmp
other eps, then eps, then bmp

To take advantage of these rules, specify the figure file without an extension. e.g.

   !import "sdfarch"

18.1.4. PDF Support

PDF can now be generated from the PostScript output from FrameMaker 5 by using the appropriate Adobe software. A contents panel is generated for normal documents.

Note: FrameMaker 5 has a bug which prevents the necessary information for a contents panel being included in the PostScript when a book is printed to file via fmbatch. If you want a contents panel for a book, it is currently necessary to use FrameMaker manually to set the Include Acrobat Data option and print the file.

18.1.5. Direct Conversion of Text Files

Plain text files can now be directly generated from SDF - FrameMaker is no longer required. As a result, the conversion process is much quicker and the output looks much better.

18.1.6. POD Support

SDF documents can now be converted to POD, the file format used by the Perl community. The Perl 5 distribution includes pod2man and pod2latex, so SDF files can now be indirectly converted to these formats too.

18.1.7. HTML Headers, Footers, Colors and Backgrounds

Headers and footers to place at the top and bottom of each HTML page can now be defined. Colors and background images can also be specified. See the sdf.sdm for examples.

18.1.8. Delphi Help Enhancements

A large number of fixes and improvements have been made to this. See the samples/delphi stuff for examples.

18.1.9. Topics Mode

When generating HTML, it is often useful to create a table of contents and a large number of small pages, rather than a monolithic document. This release includes a prototype version of topics mode which illustrates how this might work. To try it, define each topic as a separate file and use the following command:

   sdf -2html -ftopics *.sdf

The main document will be converted to a table of contents. The remaining documents will be converted to topics.

Note: If the -ftopics option is not provided, a monolithic document will be generated.

18.1.10. Configuration Reporting

Reference documentation for an SDF module can now be automatically generated by using the following command:

   sdf -2html mymodule.sdm

A summary of the terms, references, organisations and products, if any, will be included in the generated documentation. As a result, the reference documentation for a project library serves as a glossary and bibliography for the project.

18.1.11. fm2ps

An alias has been added for sdfbatch called fm2ps. This command converts FrameMaker documents to PostScript. It can be called via eiher way below:

   sdfbatch +fm2ps abc.doc
   fm2ps abc.doc

18.2. Fixes

Unknown variables in restricted families (like DOC, OPT, etc) are now flagged as unknown (rather than read-only).

A page break is added by build_title when PostScript is being generated.

A number of pretty-printing bugs have been removed.

The escaping of special characters (<, >, &) has been fixed in HTML.

Spacing inside table cells (for Netscape) has been improved.

18.3. Incompatibilities