D5Man Legacy Distribution


This is the D5Man Legacy Distribution. It contains a subset of the programs and scripts developed for the first attempt on realizing a comprehensive information storage system.

This distribution focuses on the old system’s LaTeX/PDF export capabilities and includes a new script d5manlegacyconvert.pl to conveniently invoke the export functions automatically generating the necessary D5Man configuration for exporting a given file. Not all functions were retained for the following reasons:

The primary reason for giving up on the old D5Man’s development was exactly the high complexity and instability of features, thus this legacy distribution aims at reducing the complexity and providing only features with some extent of stability such as to conserve a means of processing legacy documents.

The following functions are provided:

The following functionality is still present but not exposed through any convenient interface:

The following functions were available and removed from the distribution:

The following functions were never completed and are thus not available in the distribution either:

Compilation and Dependencies



Building and Running



Compile as follows:

$ ant

Install by building a package (works on Debian with debuild):

$ ant package

Run the installed package by invoking

$ d5manlegacyconvert

If the package is to be run without being installed, provide the following lines in d5manlegacyconvert.pl:

my %conf = (
    common_res      => "./d5manlegacycommonres",
    compl_a         => "$newr/root", # XML: io_compl_a / io_compl_b
    compl_b         => "$newr/root",
    d5man2xml       => "./d5manlegacy2xml/d5manlegacy2xml",
    db_search       => "$newr/d5man.conf", # XML: dbloc_real
    db_sync         => ":",
    file_root       => "$newr/root",
    io_resolver     => "./d5manlegacyioresolve/d5manlegacyioresolve",
    media_converter => "/usr/bin/rsvg-convert -f pdf /dev/stdin",
    vim             => "/usr/bin/vim",
    vim_plugin      => "$newr/d5man.conf",

This shows a definition of the binaries relative to the present working directory which may suffice if d5manlegacyconvert.pl is invoked from the repository’s directory. Although never tested, replacing the calls to /usr/bin/vim etc. with suitable Windows paths may make this functionality available on Windows as well (vim is only ever called for XHTML exports).


Although there might be little point in running such a “legacy” software, one can test the functionality of the program by providing a sample page (e.g. test.d5i and invoking it as follows. See the Legacy D5Man Format and Design section for an example file.

$ d5manlegacyconvert test.d5i

This should produce file test.pdf corresponding to the input file.

Legacy D5Man Format and Design

This section captures the definition of the legacy D5Man format in its original text which includes some reasoning about why the specific format was chosen. The part about the use of D5Man sections has been removed due to being inconsistent.


Manpages can be considered one of the most efficient, useful and most reliable way of storing textual information. Their features, however, are severely limited making Manpages a bad choice for information to be displayed online or in print form. Also, Manpages are designed to be distributed as part of a program package which means that there is no workflow to edit them immediately and efficiently.

Apart from Manpages there are LaTeX and XHTML documents each of which is designed to be either used for printing or for the web. Although both of those are useful means of storing information, especially XHTML as webbrowsers are almost omnipresent, they remain limited to specific target devices and have their own disadvantages.

The D5Man format has been designed to overcome many of the existing limitations. For each format, the major disadvantages are listed below


Websites (XHTML+CSS)


Concerning the difficult readability of known markup formats, many alternatives have emerged. Among the most popular is Markdown which is focused on websites. Among the best of these formats are reStructuredText and Grutatxt. While both of them are really good, there are minor disadvantages: reStructuredText can become difficult to read once links are involved and Grutatxt is a bit too simple for the task.

Extracting the best experiences from all these formats, the D5Man format has been developed.

The following ideas have been taken from the other formats

Using this combination, the following new features have become possible

Main Elements

The D5Man format supports the following constructs.

A D5-Manpage starts with metadata in a key-value syntax with a tab separator. Tabs can be repeated as is necessary for a suitable representation in your editor. Configure your editor to use 8 spaces per tab.
Text can be entered without special attention. ``` can be used to encode inline code, commands and filenames (just about any single words you would typeset in teletype font). Quotation is entered the same way as in LaTeX.
\ is used to escape characters if necessary. This allows “{” and similar characters to be entered directly. Be aware that escaping basically tells the parser to just “ignore” any functionality this character might have. Thus, if you want to write a text and make an immediate note in parenthes you only need to excape the first character, because that is the one the parser uses to find links. Example: “HTML\(5) expert”.
External Markup
Although often unreadable, a plaintext-like markup format can not avoid interfacing with other markup languages: Using the “LaTeX”-Brackets { and } one can encapsulate LaTeX and XML using {< and >} (note that the first has a trailing, the second a leading space). If the TeX Math-Mode is entered immediately after the opening bracket, it can also be processed for website generation.
Raw text (“Code”)
Text which is indented from the left and not part of a list or table is considered raw text. The initial level of indentation will be removed and the text will otherwise be left untouched.
Links can be made in several forms. You can either link to a D5-Manpage by entering the name and section in parentheses without a separating space. Otherwise you enter the text you want to link and then give the URL in parentheses and as a third possibility you can just use url(http://...) to link to a specific URL.
There are four types of lists which can be nested, except for description lists: You can create unordered lists prepending the * character to your text. Lists are nested via suitable indentation. Numbered lists use numbers and a . to number the elements just like expect them to be used and definition lists are simply a term followed by a newline and an indented description. The fourth type of list is a so-called “pro-contra” list which you create by using appropriate + and - signs as your list bullet. Nesting description lists with a single element and unordered lists is so common that such lists are specially treated and called ``titled’’ lists. All list types except for description lists have to be indented.
Tables use o to mark the top and bottom rule and + to create a mid line. Fields are separated with two spaces.
A section consists of - signs from the very beginning of a line then a [, a space, the section title another space and a terminating ]--\n. You can also create one level of subsections by creating a line of text which is underlined with dashes (just like the old Ma_Sys.ma Note Format).
Put emphasis on important text by surrounding it with underscores (_). Emphasis is not recognized inside a word because you need to be able to enter things like “Dev_Swap”, “Ma_Zentral” or “Ma_Sys.ma”
Whenever keyboard shortcuts are to be entered, the necessary keys can be encoded like [CTRL]-[X] to display them as key symbols.
Special words and parts of text are automatically replaced whith nicer symbols for rendering. The table “Symbol replacement” lists all common substitutions.
Space control
Just like in LaTeX, you can enter forced half spaces using \, and forced spaces using ~.

Symbol replacement

Text LaTeX Symbol
... \dots
=> $\Rightarrow$
-> $\rightarrow$
<- $\leftarrow$
2^3 $2^3$
:) (smiley) :)
3 e {4,5} $3\in\{3,5\}$ 3 ∈ {3,5}

Universal External Markup

The external markup described in this section is recognized by all renderers except for WYSIWYG.

Inserts the image attachment file file and associates the textual caption caption
Helps the renderer to understand the source code language of following codes, i.e. enables syntax highlighting.
Math-mode-only is also specially recognized.

Meta fields

After the fields, a meta section may contain any number of LaTeX commands which are executed before any other LaTeX is processed. If the commands are all written between < and > symbols, they are processed as XHTML instead.

name (REQ)
An internal name for the page. Use [0-9a-z_/]+ only. Imported pages are allowed to also use upper case letters, dots and hyphens.
section (REQ)
A numeric meta field to define the d5man section. Use -1 for TBD.
description (REQ)
A plaintext description which may not contain control sequences.
tags (REQ)
Associates tags (form [0-9a-z_]+) separated with spaces. Tags are used to find the document through the different D5Man search functions like the UI, generated websites and d5manquery.
encoding (RC)
Either utf8 (UTF-8, utf-8) or ascii (ASCII). Defaults to utf8. WARNING The field exists for future usage and reader information but is not evaluated by any D5Man applications which are all programmed to support UTF-8 and UTF-8 only
compliance (REQ)
One of (becoming more and more public) qqvx, qqv, secret, restricted, confidential, personal, internal, prerelease, informal, public. Informal and public texts are allowed to be published on the internet. Prerelease texts are designed to be published sooner or later, internal texts may be shared but not be publicly available on the internet, personal texts might be shared but should not be included in IAL or Ma_Zentral DVDs, restricted texts are not to be shared, secret texts need special care and the two levels below must be encrypted. Repeat: public and informal are online, internal are in Ma_Zentral and MDVL, the rest not.
lang (REQ)
The language the text is written in. This may either be en for English
or de for German. The possibility to use it and fr is planned.
creation (RC)
Time of creation (YYYY[/MM[/DD [HH:mm[:ss]]]]).
copyright (OPT)
A copyright statement. The copyright statement may span across multiple lines (with the same indentation).
version (OPT)
Version information in any application-specific format.
expires (OPT)
Expiration date. Expiration is not defined as the document becoming automatically obsolete, but rather intended to be a sort of “review required”. Interpretation and usage are up to the user. Expired documents can be queried with d5manquery -e
location (OPT)
Redirects D5Man to another page. This may be a file:// URL which is then opened with the default browser. (This field was never implemented in legacy D5Man, but the new D5Man processes x-masysma-redirect fields with similar semantics).
attachments (OPT)
Space separated list of files considered attachments. These may be useful for enhancing websites and LaTeX targets w/ resource files.
web_freq (OPT)
Change Frequency (always, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, never) for website XML-sitemaps.
Page priority ]0;1[ for website XML-sitemaps.

Download Fields

In addition to the fields listed above, there are some fields which are specially designed to be used in conjunction with the Website export to specify a “download” attached to a page. Unlike an attachment, these downloads are given by URL and not by relative resource. Thus, these fields are useful for external mirror links as well. Download URLs may not contain spaces (use URL-encoding if spaces are required).

Finally, pages can support multiple downloads by giving them numbers starting from 0 or 1 (a digit appended to all download field names, like e.g. download1 and dlink1 for the second download etc.). If this feature is used, all downloads must be ordered by their number, i.e. all fields for download1 occur before any field for download2 etc. As download numbers are digits, a maximum of ten downloads (0-9) is supported per page. If the number is omitted (as is useful for only a single download), the number 0 is assumed.

Downloads can also be “imported/linked” from other pages by referencing their page name and the download name (as given in the table). These references’ numbers are ignored and they do not count to the limit of ten downloads per page.

Additional Fields for Website Downloads

Field Description
dref Reference other download in form page(section)/name
download Declares a download (internal name)
ddescr Download description / title (UI name)
dlink Target URL (or JavaScript link etc.)
dsize Download size in KiB
dchck Time last checked (format like creation field)
dver Download version (human readable format)
dchcksm SHA-256 of download contents

Example Document

This section shows a typical legacy D5Man document as a more intuitive description in addition to the format as described above.

--------------------------------------------------------------[ Meta ]--

name        test
section     42
description D5Man Test Document
tags        d5man detached legacy
compliance  public
lang        en
creation    2019/11/29 09:06:28
version     1.0.0

--------------------------------------------------------------[ Test ]--

This is a D5Man Legacy Format example showing some use of the features.
For the repository see url(https://github.com/m7a/bp-d5man-legacy).

Advantages of the Legacy Format
 + Allows for automatic symbol replacement: -> is an arrow.
 + Allows for generation of quotation marks: ``quoted text''
 + Supports efficient inclusion of inline math:
   {$f(x)=m\cdot x+b$}
 + D5Man supports keyboard shortcuts in documentation. Press [CTRL]-[S]
   to stop terminal output and [CTRL]-[Q] to resume.

Problems with the Legacy Format
 - It is incredibly hard to parse
 - Nested lists are supported but need to strictly follow the syntax.
   Odd things like numbered lists with more than 9 entries needing
   leading zeroes to have all numerals being equally wide for instance.
 - There are some bugs in d5man conversion.
 - `e` for replacement by the ``in'' symbol was possibly not the
   smartest choice. There used to be `E` for ``exists'' as well!

Finally, this test document concludes with a table:

        Overview on the executables in D5Man Legacy and New
        Legacy Original       Legacy Distribution     New Distribution
        `d5manui`             ~                       `d5mantui`
        `d5manserver`         ~                       `d5manapi`
        `d5man2xml`           `d5manlegacy2xml`       ~
        `d5mancompliancedup`  ~                       ~
        `d5mandbdelete`       ~                       ~
        `d5mandbinit`         ~                       ~
        `d5mandbsync`         ~                       ~
        `d5mandelete`         ~                       ~
        `d5mandetach`         ~                       ~
        `d5manexport`         `d5manlegacyconvert`    `d5manexportpdf`
        ~                     ~                       `d5manexporthtml`
        `d5manexportautoftp`  ~                       ~
        `d5manimport`         ~                       ~
        `d5manioresolve`      `d5manlegacyioresolve`  ~
        `d5manmassdelete`     ~                       ~
        `d5manmirror`         ~                       ~
        `d5manquery`          ~                       ~
        `d5manvalidate`       ~                       ~

Structure of the Legacy Distribution

This repository is structured as follows:

Legacy d5man2xml application which takes as input a D5Man text and produces in output a proprietary XML format for processing by other D5Man-related tools (see d5manlegacyexport/ma/d5man/lib/dtd/d5manxml.dtd for the associated DTD including).
Provides logos and resources needed for the export. File template.tex is the LaTeX template used for the PDF export and website_fs_override contains a template XML used for the XHTML export.
Contains all Java parts of this distribution. This includes large parts of the old d5manexport Java implementation and the libd5manexport library. Parts relying on external components (such as SnuggleTex for LaTeX to MathML conversion) have been removed.
Legacy d5manioresolve application for converting D5Man page names to file names. This is retained because it is invoked by the D5Man export to find the file names associated to input files.
Some sample XSLT styles to transform D5Man proprietary XML to other text formats. These have been intended to be used in conjunction with systems that in turn convert the text formats to HTML. As such, it does not produce a nice textual representation but one that will be displayed correctly. Some of these conversions require manual post-processing for optimal results.
Script to invoke the legacy export without needing to explicitly provide all the D5Man file structure, database and configuration file (configuration files and file structure are generated on-the-fly).



d5manlegacyconvert – export legacy D5Man files to (mainly) PDF.


d5manlegacyconvert file.d5i [opt]
d5manlegacyconvert file.d5i xslt  style.xsl
d5manlegacyconvert file.d5i xhtml outdir    [opt]


One and two argument invocation
This script reads file.d5i and exports it to file.pdf. It implements a functionality provided by legacy D5Man which is relevant for large pieces of text which should remain exportable even after legacy D5Man has been uninstalled. It simplifies the interface to the legacy D5Man very much by performing all required actions (query, export, make) in a single invocation.
Three and four argument invocation
This exposes the other parts export functionality. It is retained to be able to invoke the XSLT transformation for legacy README-files and to be able to simplify the transition of website contents.

[opt] allows for optional arguments to be passed to the d5manexport process.

Ma_Sys.ma Website 5 (1.0.2) – no Flash, no JavaScript, no Webfont, no Copy Protection, no Mobile First. No bullshit. No GUI needed. Works with any browser.

Created: 2019/11/28 09:30:31 | Revised: 2022/09/18 21:15:27 | Tags: d5man, legacy, d5manexport, d5man2xml, format, d5man/format | Version: 1.0.0 | SRC (Pandoc MD) | GPL

Copyright (c) 2014–2019 Ma_Sys.ma. For further info send an e-mail to Ma_Sys.ma@web.de.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.