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This page serves as a central location for all things related to Publican. Publican was formerly known as Documentation-Devel.

Public Announcement

The semi-official announcement is at:

Here is the text:

>From Brian Forte:


Brisbane, Queensland, 2008/02/14 -- Red Hat Engineering Content
Services is pleased to announce Publican, a new publishing package.

Publican -- which has been used by Red Hat's Documentation Group for
almost two years -- takes DocBook XML input and outputs HTML, plain
Unicode text and PDF. This output can be branded with the following
brands: Fedora, Red Hat, and JBoss. A default, generic brand is also
included. Further brands can be added, either by request, or by direct
customisation. (To request an additional brand, submit a bug via
<>. Submit the bug against the "Red Hat
Enterprise Linux" product, and the "publican" component.)

But "make html" and "make pdf" are, perhaps, the least of Publican.
What makes Publican worth announcing are "create_book" and "make

"create_book" does what the command name implies: it creates a
directory of the XML files you need to start writing a book or article
using DocBook XML as well as a ready-to-roll Makefile for outputting
HTML, text and PDF.

"make dist-srpm" takes a book, turns it into a tarball, adds an
appropriate specfile and then wraps the whole thing up into a src.rpm.
This makes it easy to incorporate documentation into the standard
distribution build chain.

Publican is being incorporated into the Fedora tree in the coming days
and weeks. To learn more, members of the Publican development and
documentation team will be answering questions in #fedora-docs on on Thursday 2008/02/14 from 12:00 Australian Eastern
Standard Time (2008/02/14 02:00 UTC/GMT; 2008/02/14 IST; 2008/02/13
22:00 American EDT; 2008/02/13 19:00 American PDT).


Kind Regards,


Publican List

Publican list is used to inform users of the current Publican version, upgrades and changes, bug fixes, and for Publican discussions.

All writers and translators are encouraged to subscribe:

IRC Log of Publican Meeting

The meeting referenced above was held as scheduled on Thursday, 14 February at 0200 UTC. The transcript can be read here .

Official Publican Site

The Fedora Hosted site contains the code and some additional documentation:

Installing Publican

Publican is available in the official Fedora repositories. To install it with user documentation, run this command:

dnf install publican-doc publican-fedora

Publican on Fedora Tips and Tweaks

When running Fedora you may need to do a little tweaking to get Publican working properly.

Recent localizations

Publican 0.44 does not support languages that are written right-to-left (like Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian), and does not contain recent localisations of the "Common Content" sections. Delete your /usr/share/publican/Common_Content/common directory and replace it with the version contained in this archive Updated 4 September 2009.

Building PDFs

This issue affects Publican 0.44 (the current version in Fedora) and Publican 0.45 (the current version if you build from source) (BZ# 492689)
Symptom — If you build a PDF of a document that contains a table or informaltable, the PDF will build correctly up to the point where the first table occurs and then stop. The result will be a perfectly valid PDF, but with all content from the first table onwards missing.
Fix — Download and install xslthl

Building books in languages other than English

This issue appears every time that you install or update Publican on Fedora 11 or any previous version of Fedora that has had updates applied to it. (BZ# 492673)
Symptom — If you build a book in any format in any language other than en-US, the "Document Conventions" section in the preface appears partially in the language that you specified, and partially in English.
Fix — Delete your /usr/share/publican/Common_Content/common directory and replace it with the Common_Content/common directory contained in this archive.

Building PDFs in Chinese Simplified

This issue affects Fedora 11, Fedora 10, and any previous version of Fedora that has had updates applied to it.(BZ# 509044)
Symptom — If you build a document in PDF in Chinese (Simplified) — zh-CN — the body text appears blank. The PDF contains enough white space to contain the text, but the characters themselves do not appear.

  1. Download this archive and extract the fireflysung.ttf font from it.
  2. Install the font (Kickoff Application Launcher > Computer > System Settings > Font Installer in KDE, or copy it into the .fonts directory in your home directory in GNOME).
  3. Replace your /usr/share/publican/xsl/pdf.xsl file with this copy.
  4. Delete the .fop directory from your home directory

Building PDFs with xml and images in subdirectories

This issue affects Fedora. (BZ# 491782)
Symptom — If you have .xml files in a subdirectory of en-US and images in a subdirectory of en-US/images publican creates an incorrect path for the included image in the PDF.
Fix — Replace your /usr/share/publican/xsl/pdf.xsl file with this copy.