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Subject: Re: [boost] [boostbook] cleanup / modernization
From: Paul A. Bristow (pbristow_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-07-18 15:29:48

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Boost [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]] On Behalf Of James E. King III via Boost
> Sent: 18 July 2018 14:43
> To: boost_at_[hidden]
> Cc: James E. King III
> Subject: [boost] [boostbook] cleanup / modernization
> I would have opened an "issue" on the boostorg/boostbook project, however,
> that is not enabled. (Perhaps someone should enable it?)
> I have duplicated the boostbook setup scripts into the docker setup
> environment for Ubuntu Bionic and I have found that all of the packages
> that boostbook depends on are ancient.
> PackageVersionLast ModifiedHost
> docbook-xsl 1.75.2 2009 SourceForge
> <>
> docbook-xml 4.2 2002
> <>
> fop 0.94 2007 Apache
> <>
> These tools are quite old and it is only a matter of time before the older
> versions could be removed. These external sites are under no particular
> requirement to keep these older versions of software available. At some
> point some of these tools may no longer work with current operating system
> tools, for example "fop" says that it is for "JDK 1.4".
> Each of these tools has a newer version. A project should be initiated now
> to modernize the documentation build to use more recent versions of these
> tools before it becomes a critical release blocker at a bad time.

Although I am keen 'keep-up-to-date' man, in this case some caution is necessary.

Even when the toolchain was being developed, some newer versions didn't work.

The PDF generated was particularly troublesome and we are still using RenderX kindly provided free;
In reality only a handful of people can generate PDF versions.

Since Boost has copies of all the necessary packages of code, we need not worry too much about the original sources being

So in this case, I feel that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies.

If effort is available (and I don't see much), then developing an entirely new tool chain is where to put it.
Extracting information from Doxygen-syntax comments using Clang compile tools and automatically produce docs is surely the way to


Paul A. Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse
Kendal UK LA8 8AB
+44 (0) 1539 561830

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