Documenting DTDs I: dtd2html (2/2) - exploring XML | WebReference

Documenting DTDs I: dtd2html (2/2) - exploring XML

Documenting DTDs I: dtd2html


A similar documentation tool has existed in the SGML world for years, as part of the perlSGML package: dtd2html. dtd2html takes a DTD, plus an optional description file, and generates a set of HTML pages following the structure of the content model that the DTD describes. It is also capable of generating tree views and quick reference formats.

Download and install

dtd2html is part of the Perl package perlSGML. You can download it from there, unpack it in any directory and call dtd2html on any DTD. An installer script optionally copies everything to the "right" place should you so desire.

Running dtd2html on HTML4 transitional produces a set of HTML pages to browse. This can naturally only be a visualization of the content model's structure, but with the addition of a description file meaningful documentation is produced.

While it is a neat tool, things could be better:


While not all is great with dtd2html, it is so far one of the few documentation tools available for describing XML document types. I encourage you to use it, should you create DTDs for the rest of us to work with.

In the following installments, we will look at developing a documentation tool for XML document type definitions that should do away with the current limitations of dtd2html.

Hopefully this will lead to more documentation being produced in a standardized, concise format that is easy to consume for both man and machine.

Should you know about other tools I might have missed, as well as feature requests for such a tool, please let me know.

Produced by Michael Claßen

Created: Sep 16, 2002
Revised: Sep 16, 2002