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Thomas Schraitle

Documentation team member, DocBook and XML supporter, book writer, and playing with XSLT, RELAX NG, Python, typography, fonts, and LaTeX

Author Archive

Tip: Using KWallet or GNOME Keyring with Subversion

January 15th, 2010 by

Subversion stores all its configuration and passwords under the ~/.subversion/ directory. Wouldn’t it be cool to have your passwords in KWallet or GNOME Keyring? Recently I found out, it is pretty simple.


KIWI RELAX NG Schema Explained

December 6th, 2009 by

KIWI, invented by Marcus Schäfer, is a magnificent tool to build your own SUSE Linux distribution. It is also the backend of SUSE Studio.

For those who has used KIWI manually already know the details: KIWI’s configuration file is XML and based on a RELAX NG schema. This article give developers a little background of the history, a short overview of some design decisions around KIWI’s RELAX NG schema, and how to customize it to your needs.

Playing With XPath Expressions in The xmllint Shell

November 23rd, 2009 by

When XML is transformed into something else, in most cases XSLT comes to play. One of the challenges of XSLT is to select just the nodes you are interested in. This task is done by XPath, “a query language for selecting nodes from a XML document.”

However, it can be tedious to create a XPath expression, run the transformation, and check if you got the expected result. After hours of debugging you find out: It’s the wrong XPath expression!

To make it easier: Test your XPath expressions in the internal xmllint shell!


DocBook-XML die Zweite!

September 21st, 2009 by

(Disclaimer: This post is mainly intended for a German audience and describes my book about DocBook XML. For this reason, as an exception, the following text is written in German only.)

Nach ca. 1½ Jahren und unzähligen Stunden, dem Verschleiß von hunderten von Korrekturseiten und Stiften, einer überstandenen Druckerei-Pleite, viel verbrauchtem Gehirnschmalz, einem unwilligem PC und über 1000 Revisionen im SVN-Repository, ist jetzt die 2. Auflage meines Buches  “DocBook-XML — Medienneutrales und plattformunabhängiges Publizieren” beim Millin-Verlag erschienen. 5 Jahre nach der ersten Auflage.


New Layout in Town

September 17th, 2009 by

Creating a new (book) layout is both challenging and fun. On the one side you have to observe different parameters like legibility, simplicity, and aesthetic. On the other side, you can play with fonts, margins, styles and all the other great things in typography and design! 🙂

It’s the first time for the Start-Up Guide to get a new layout after some years. The result is the new, so called, pocket layout.


Write Your Own Novelties

June 1st, 2009 by

Some people has the talent to write good stories. Probably most uses only a paper and a pen for this task. However, if you are searching for a respective tool, I maybe have another solution: Storybook!


Reading EBooks With Calibre

March 1st, 2009 by

Back in the (should I say: old?) days books were created from dead trees. Now, with the raise of different reading devices, we can read them digitally. Thanks to Kovid Goyal we can enjoy ebooks with the Calibre reader also on your ordinary PC or laptop.


Why Ant Sucks (Somehow)

February 16th, 2009 by

What is Ant?

According to Ant’s webpage:

“Ant is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is kind of like Make, without Make’s wrinkles and with the full portability of pure Java code.”

Sounds nice, isn’t it? But XML design problems make Ant nearly unusable which this post becomes kind of a rant…


Font: Lavoisier

February 11th, 2009 by

I’m very intersted in typography and as such also in fonts. Some days ago, I’ve found a very interesting sans-serif OpenType font, called Lavoisier. It is rather complete, with lots of characters, diacritics and other useful symbols.


The Value of (Good) Documentation

January 16th, 2009 by

Maybe you know this situation: You find an interesting software that is worth to play. After you’ve installed it there are two possibilities: either the software is (a) very easy and self-explanatory, or (b) it is very complex.

As most software fall into category (b), one way to get used to it is you can play around and discover it by yourself. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. In case you need help, you can either ask a programmer, or write a post to a mailinglist or forum. But when you need an answer for your question now what else remains? Right! You need documentation!
And with documentation, I mean good documentation. Not something with “Documentation? Use the source!”