RE: HTML preprocessor

Subject: RE: HTML preprocessor
From: "Joe Malin" <jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 10:20:54 -0700

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for pointing out WikiWriter! I'm at least *curious* about it. I'm
surprised that more authors haven't jumped on the "web" model for
personal/client-side applications. A small server running in the
background has very little footprint, you have a wealth of HTML-based
tools to use, and you can easily port a single-user app to a distributed

I want to clarify what I'm looking for, although you've given me a
useful tool:

* I do *not* want to generate dynamic HTML. I'm trying to maintain a
helpset of HTML files.
* I want to use "includes" and "conditional text inclusion" to generate
a new static HTML file that will
be deployed to an app server as a help topic.
* Wouldn't it be great if I could get my help system to support this!
Alas, it doesn't.
* So, I need to generate new HTML from my "gold" source.

Is this more clear? Calling it a HTML preprocessor is a misnomer. A
preprocessor sits at the front of another program and acts as a filter
(UN*X people will understand my terminology). Preprocessors are most
well-known in the compiler world; preprocess "directives" enabled file
inclusion, conditional text processing, and macro expansion.
Object-oriented programming and the triumph of library code have mostly
obsoleted preprocessing, although it has now popped up in web app server
architectures such as PHP.


Joe Malin
Technical Writer
jmalin -at- tuvox -dot- com
The views expressed in this document are those of the sender, and do not
necessarily reflect those of TuVox, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-216553 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Jerry
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2005 7:15 PM
Subject: Re: HTML preprocessor

From: "Joe Malin"

I am looking for a freeware/shareware *client-side* preprocessor for

I know things like PHP exist for doing "web applications" by dynamically
generating HTML from templates and commands, but that is *not* what I

I *do* want a program I can run on my own computer that will process
HTML and handle tasks like including HTML snippets from an include file.
For example, I'd like something that will read

<include file="snippet.html"/>

and stuff the contents of snippet.html into the place where the tag is,
outputting a new HTML file.


Sounds like WikiWriter, to me. WW allows includes, templates,
modifications to CSS, accepts code-your-own-HTML as well as its own
wiki-style simplified markup. It's not shareware/freeware, but cheap

---- Jerry Muelver


Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

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