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A tool to create an XML table-of-contents for the Eclipse help system, from topic files sourced in either HTML or in the IBM IDWorkbench.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010940D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Feb-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Feb-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a tool that automatically generates a table of contents for an Eclipse help plugin. The tool uses information from HTML files or IBM IDWorkbench source files, and replicates the structure of the directory hierarchy in which they are stored.

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  A tool to create an XML table-of-contents for the Eclipse help system, from topic files sourced in either HTML or in the IBM IDWorkbench.

Disclosed is a tool that automatically generates a table of contents for an Eclipse help plugin. Eclipse is an opensource software development project for the development of highly integrated tools (www.eclipse.org). The Eclipse help system provides browsing, searching, and printing facilities for online documentation within the Eclipse platform.

    To enable navigation within an Eclipse help plugin, the developer must provide a table-of-contents (TOC) written as an XML document. The tool described here enables a TOC to be generated automatically by replicating the hierarchy of the files stored in a directory structure and by extracting information from those files to put in the TOC, thus avoiding the manual maintenance of a large XML structure. It will work with HTML files stored in such a structure, or with SGML source files in a similar directory structure used by an information development tool known as IBM* IDWorkbench (IDWB).

    However, if the topics are sourced in IDWB, then neither the source SGML files nor the generated HTML files alone provide sufficient information to create a completely effective TOC. But this can be achieved by combining information from both file sets.

    The IDWB source files, in a hierarchy that matches the required TOC, can provide the structure for a TOC. But these regularly use 'text entities' to represent common phrases within their titles which are only transformed into the appropriate words by the IDWB when it creates HTML. To avoid these entities appearing in the TOC, the tool uses the generated HTML file (which the IDWorkbench always puts in a single directory, and so cannot be used to generate a TOC hierarchy), to find the full topic titles.

Each level, or 'container' (equivalent to a directory), in a TOC also requires a title. The tool either uses the directory name for this title, or it can be included in a separate information file within that directory, described below. This information file can also indicate the topic to be displayed when the container is selected in the TOC as well as files to include and their sequence, if required.

    As well as generating a primary TOC, alternative versions of the TOC can also be generated with different structures, using the same topic information. The tool can also be used to split a TOC into several smaller navigation trees to facilitate the implementation of Eclipse plugins, whereby sub-trees can be plugged into a primary TOC.

Implementation

A simple Eclipse TOC typically looks like:

<?xml version="1.0" en...