Frequently Asked Questions


1. General

1.1. What is APHID?


APHID is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use DocBook for that was orignally developed for the Windows environment (since UNIX and Linux already have their own tools for creating DocBook). APHID lets create articles and books and transform them from one single source to multiple output formats like HTML, HTML Help, or PDF. APHID is a derivative work of eDE (http://www.e-novative.de).

1.2. What kind of a name is APHID?


I was looking for something related to ANT (since this tool is primarily driven by ANT). I also wanted something to describe the fact the tool is platform-independent. Additionally, it was cobbled together from a number of other OpenSource projects. So after writing down all the bits that described what this tool does, I came up with the following:

Hodge-podge for

1.3. Isn't the Docbook part of the name redundant?


Unfortunately, yes. At the time I started the project, I didn't know that there was already a SourceForge project called APHID.

1.4. Why did you create APHID?


I was generating a lot of DocBook XML documents for work and I needed to be able to have the other people on my team create and update their own DocBook documents. At the time there was a program called eDE (http://www.e-novative.de) which I used a lot. Unfortunately, there were some bugs and the software didn't get updated a lot. Also, there was no CVS access to the code.

1.5. Where do I get APHID?


The APHID software can be downloaded from SourceForge.

2. Installation

2.1. How do I install APHID?


Simply copy the ZIP file to your local machine and unzip the files to directory of your choice. Once the files have been extracted, a few environment variables need to be setup. The instructions are detailed in the Installing APHID section of the User Guide.

3. Using APHID

3.1. How do I use APHID?


APHID is a command line tool. In order to use it, you must open a command window (CMD.EXE).

There are two primary ways you can use APHID. The first is to create text documents from scratch which will be converted to DocBook/XML. The second is to update existing DocBook/XML documents in order to convert them into HTML or PDF documents.

The APHID command reference is in the Using APHID section of the User Guide

4. Troubleshooting APHID

4.1. I received an error similar to the following: APHID: INFO: creating DocBook article, using DTD version 4.5 Files\Java\jre1.5.0_09"" was unexpected at this time.


This can happen if you defined the JAVA_HOME variable using quotes. For example if the JAVA_HOME variable is defined like this:

JAVA_HOME="c:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_09"

Remove the quotes. It should be defined like this:

JAVA_HOME=c:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_09

4.2. I received an error similar to the following: Unable to locate tools.jar. Expected to find it in C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5. 0_09\lib\tools.jar


This will happen if your JAVA_HOME variable is defined to a point to a JRE installation. tools.jar is in the JDK, not the JRE. You can do one of two things to deal with the error:

  1. Install the JDK and set the JAVA_HOME variable accordingly; or
  2. Ignore the error. APHID will process documents just fine without the tools.jar file.

5. APT

5.1. What is APT?


APT stands for Almost Plain Text. APHID converts text files written in Almost Plain Text format to HTML and PDF. You can find information about APT formatted text in The APT Format section of the User Guide.