The Glory that is Toot-o-Matic (RE: Trolling a little deeper with XML)

Subject: The Glory that is Toot-o-Matic (RE: Trolling a little deeper with XML)
From: Darren Barefoot <Darren -dot- Barefoot -at- capeclear -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 10:51:24 +0100

I don't believe this tool has been discussed on this list before, so here it

Toot-o-Matic (TOM) is way-cool XML-based, open-source, tutorial-authoring
software from the good folks at IBM's developerWorks (led by former
technical writer Doug Tidwell). We discovered this program a couple of
months ago and were immediately taken by its flexibility. It was a bit of a
pain to set up; it's command line only and requires considerable tweaking to
make it do what you want. Once you do, though, it enables you to generate a
complete, ready-to-distribute tutorial as a series of HTML pages from a
single XML file. Additionally, it generates PDFs and a ZIP file of the PDF
from the same source.

A tutorial about TOM that was generated using TOM is available at

To actually demonstrate this product in action, here is a tutorial that I
recently created using TOM: (for
uninteresting reasons we disabled the ZIP file functionality).

Perhaps the best part is that TOM is open-source and free. It uses XSLT and
Java to render the HTML, PDFs and ZIP. In addition to authoring in XML, you
tweak the output in various DTD and XSL files. If anybody's interested, I
have written a slightly longer document (a submission to speak at a
conference) on TOM. Thanks. DB.

Darren Barefoot
Technical Writer
Cape Clear Software

> -----Original Message-----
> From: McDonald, Guy A. [mailto:Guy -dot- A -dot- McDonald -at- conoco -dot- com]
> Sent: 24 October 2001 21:07
> Subject: Trolling a little deeper with XML
> I'd like to hear from people who use XML in an application
> development environment. Or if you use it for work process
> enhancement or any other interesting scenario. The last I
> read on this subject was an article the list owners wrote
> which is a simple comparison between HTML/XML/SGML.


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