Documentation in PDF

DocBook XML is impressive, and it surely helps the doc writers visualize the product. But I’m not sure the outline links in the User Manual web page are the best way to publish. Maybe it’s just me, but a flat doc file, e.g. a pdf, is better, since the reader can search it. Try finding the topic that contains “scrollable list” from GNU Image Manipulation Program .

I could not find a program to convert the User Manual website to pdf. Most will convert only the single displayed page, or are limited to a small number of pages. Maybe a paid-subscription program, e.g. pdfmyurl at $19/mo., could convert the manual, but I didn’t try it.
Anyhow, I vote for publishing the User Manual in pdf.

I agree with you that a PDF file which one can download is a useful format for documentation. I like to have my documentation in multiple formats.

Well, don’t forget that the HTML form of the GIMP documentation is a collection of HTML pages with a common root URL and indexed by search engines. Here are my search results for "scrollable list" site: It looks like you want sections 3.3 or 3.5.

I have not looked at the documentation part of the GIMP source code. But if it is indeed authored in DocBook XML format, then there should be multiple tools to generate PDF from it. We would not be the first people to want PDF output from DocBook XML content. Are you inclined to get the Docbook sources and try to use or set up this part of the product build process? That is how open source works a lot of the time.

An excellent idea! Enthusiast for online searching though I be, it didn’t occur to me to use the “site” search. Its plethora of clicks is exhausting, but we live in desperate times.
You are right to suggest that I address the issue. However, at the age of 79.783 years, I meter my time carefully. I hope someone in contact with the problem doesn’t have to cover the learning curve from scratch.
I tried an online converter from XML to PDF on basic-setup.xml (XML to PDF - Convert PDF online) . The ingenuity of programmers who get those things to work is astonishing, but the result was annoying. E.g. it left out pictures. I tried
Convert DocBook to PDF for free on Alldocs on a few xml files, e.g. basic-setup.xml. It said "An error occurred while converting the file. " Thus begins the maze.

This was also discussed here.

As I said there, we would need a volunteer that wants to work on fixing the pdf generation and add a CI job that shows the results. If that part is working, it should be easy to also add the generated PDF’s to our website.

Besides that, having search functionality in our manual, is also an issue that we need a volunteer for.

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