FLOSS Manuals provides a nice tool so that allows you to take all the chapters you have created and arrange them in a nice order, divided up into sections if necessary, and renamed so they are more user friendly. This tool is called IndexGen but we call it INDEX for short.
It looks something like this :
Before we get into how it all works let's first look at how manuals are created and presented.
If you go to the front page of FLOSS Manuals you will see lots of manuals listed. If you click on one (let's choose Audacity), then you see something like this:
Here you see the first page of the manual and the index on the left. INDEX is what we use to generate the manuals index that you see here. The PDF that is linked from this index also follows the order of the chapters you arrange with INDEX.
So...where do these chapters come from? Well, the process of writing and publishing a manual occurs in three steps:
By using this process we separate the material that is being worked on from the manual that the reader sees. Hence the reader can read the nice 'stable' version of the manual online or as a PDF, while the manual continues to be developed.
So if you look at the Audacity manual repository (where you write the manual) you will see something like this :
You can use this interface to add chapters and edit chapters without the changes effecting the manual the reader sees. What you will notice is that the names of the chapters listed are different than the names of the chapters in the published manual. The following is the index of the audacity the reader sees :
In the above image you can see three components of the index. The first, at the top, is the title of the manual, in this case 'AUDACITY'. After the print and PDF icons we can see a section heading - the first one is titled 'INTRODUCTION' and there are two chapters under this section heading - 'INTRODUCTION' and 'WHAT IS DIGITAL AUDIO?'. Then comes the next section heading 'INSTALLING' followed by the chapters that occur in that section etc.
The following is the table that displays the title, section headings, and chapters in the Audacity repository where the manual is written .
You can see that it follows the same structure as the published manual. Some of the chapters are not included in the published manual, these are included as a list at the bottom ('EditID3', 'Tester' etc).
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