README for Document Writers
The submakefile, docs.xml and index.tmpl must be updated to add a file to the documents.
docs.xml is used to create the "previous" and "next" buttons at the top of each individual html document.
it should generally match the order of the index.tmpl
Notes on LinuxCNC documentation:
The main LinuxCNC makefile can optionally build the documentation and
other files in this directory tree. Use --enable-build-documentation when
invoking src/configure, and run make from src
Notes about drawings:
Many of the documents include drawings. Most of them were originally
created using EasyCad, a non-free Windows app, then exported to .eps files
and included in the the docs. The original 'source' files (EasyCad .FC7
format) were not usable on a free system. To fix this problem, all of
the source files have been converted to .dxf files, and added to git.
The .dxf files can be edited with multiple CAD packages, and serve as the
'source' files for future changes to the drawings. They can be converted
from .dxf to postscript (not .eps) using Qcad, which is available as an
ubuntu package (and I believe also available for debian).
Unfortunately, EasyCad (and AutoCad) support a number of entities
that Qcad does not import properly. Including some that were used
in the LinuxCNC drawings: filled circles, filled arrowheads, non-zero
width lines, and dashed lines. Qcad renders filled circles as
hollow, it renders all lines the same width, and it renders dashed
lines as solid, unless you tell it to do otherwise. All of these
things make the drawings less attractive, but are somewhat
acceptable. However, Qcad doesn't import filled arrowheads at all,
which seriously hurts the drawings. So EasyCad was used to convert
the arrowheads to hollow before exporting them. Hollow arrowheads
don't look as nice as solid ones, but at least they are visible.
Once exported, the arrowheads lose their relationship with the line they
are on, and and need to be moved and/or rotated manually if the line is
moved. I believe that even if they were imported back into EasyCad, the
line/arrow connection would remain broken. New lines with
arrowheads can be created in Qcad with the 'leader' dimension tool.
Because the original EPS files with filled lines and circles, wide lines,
and dashed lines look so much nicer, they will remain in git and should
probably be used for the documents, however if they become inaccurate
because of changes in the software, we will have to edit the DXF files,
generate postscript, and use the less pretty but factually corrrect
Since Qcad itself is a GUI application, the dxf to postscript conversion
involves going clicky clicky, and can't be automated and made part of the
makefile. Also, not everyone will have Qcad installed on their system.
Therefore, we will store both the DXF files and the resulting postscript
files in git, and the normal documentation build process will use the
postscript files only. If/when the dxf files are edited, they will need
to be converted to postscript manually. The conversion procedure is as
File->Open-> choose dxf file
drawing appears in window
set paper size to "letter", set orientation to "landscape" or "portrait"
depending on the aspect ratio of the drawing
click the "fit to page" button on the toolbar (last button on the right at
least on version 22.214.171.124 of qcad)
select "print to file"
set the path to point to the same directory as the source .dxf file
set the name to be the same as the source file, but .ps instead of .dxf
The makers of Qcad also have a GPL'ed format converter called vec2web,
which can do dxf to postscript conversion from the command line. It
is not available as a precompiled package, but is available in source
form from http://www.ribbonsoft.com/vec2web.html
vec2web depends on qt3 development packages for compilation, so it should
not be a dependency for building the LinuxCNC docs. But if configure can
detect it, it would be nice to automate conversion from dxf to ps for those
systems where vec2web is installed.
To build vec2web, I had to apt-get install qt3-dev-tools
The vec2web tarball contains a build script, but before you run it you
must set $QTDIR to point at your QT3 installation - in my case it was
Then run the build script:
There is no install step, the executable gets dumped in the build directory.
There is also no man page, but running it with no args prints the following
Usage: vec2web <input file> <output file> [options]
Where options are:
-x # maximum x size for the output bitmap in pixel
-y # maximum y size for the output bitmap in pixel
-b black/white instead of using colors
-o [l|p] orientation for PS output (landscape or portrait)
-s .. page size for PS output (A4, A5)
e.g. vec2web drawing.dxf drawing.png
converts drawing.dxf to a portable network graphic
My initial attempts to use vec2web resulted in the graphical parts of the
drawing being converted, but all text was lost. I don't know if vec2web is
worth spending much more time on, however, it _is_ GPL, and it includes a
library for reading DXF files which might be a worthwhile thing to the
Linux CNC community.
Drawings from QCad
Save as .dxf to same directory as the image
Set line thickness to 0.50mm
Export image as 480 x 480 Resolution Auto .png
How to add a new translation language
Add the asciidoc source files that will contain your new translation.
Usually that means copying the language files for one of the existing
languages, probably English since that's usually the most up to date.
Add the new files to the proper place in docs/src/Submakefile, to ensure
they'll get built.
Edit debian/control.in to add the new linuxcnc-doc-$NEWLANG package.
Add the new doc package to the or-list of the Recommends line of the
Add the new language to the DOCS_PACKAGES variable in debian/configure.
If there is a texlive-lang-$NEWLANGUAGE package for your new language,
add it to all the appropriate EXTRA_BUILD lines in debian/configure.
Add the 'linuxcnc-doc-$NEWLANG.files.in' file for the new package, probably
by copying and editing "debian/linuxcnc-doc-en.files.in".
Test build the packages and verify!