MediaWiki extensions manual
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Release status: beta
Implementation Parser function
Description Lets you create DocBook from pages
Author(s) Nischay Nahata (Nischayn22talk)
Latest version 0.0.0
MediaWiki 1.25
PHP 5.5+
License MIT License
  • $wgDocbookDownloadServerPath
  • $wgDocbookExportPandocServerPath
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The DocBookExport extension lets you create a DocBook from selected wiki pages. You can download the DocBook as an XML file. Other formats supported are ODT, HTML and PDF.


Make sure that you installed all required dependencies on your server.
  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called DocBookExport in your extensions/ folder.


Set the URL for the html to docbook script installed in your server. Eg. http://example.com/html_to_docbook


  • Install the following dependencies on the same or different server, that would be used to handle the html to docbook generation:
For Ubuntu use the following commands, replace the version number as per the latest release
sudo wget https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/releases/download/2.2.1/pandoc-2.2.1-1-amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i pandoc-2.2.1-1-amd64.deb
  • On the wiki, install the "Figures" extension - that supports defining figures in MediaWiki
  • Install mpdf in your MediaWiki installation using composer using the following command:
    • composer require mpdf/mpdf


To create a book define the page structure using the docbook parser function or tag extension. See examples below.

Parser function example:

page structure=
? Bowling Introduction
* How I buy shoes(orientation=landscape)
* Testing page
** Buying clothes intro,Buying shoes(title=Buying the right clothes,header=section header)
? Appendix
|title=My Guide to Bowling
|subtitle=Edition M Version 1
|cover page=Cover Contents
|header=My Guide to Bowling
|footer=My Guide to Bowling
|index term categories=index terms(group by=Index has Group)
|index terms=shoe,clothes
|font size=10

On saving the page a link will be generated which directs you to a special page Special:GetDocbook. The docbook request is then pushed to the same or other server handling html to docbook generation. Once the docbook is generated, links will be made available on the Special page to download the DocBook: in XML, HTML, ODT and PDF formats.

The parameters shown can be customized as follows:

  • page structure is used to defines the wiki pages that will be part of the docbook as cover, sections and chapters. The first line starts with a '?' and indicates the preface, * indicates a chapter and ** indicates a section of that chapter. Sub-sections can be defined using *** or **** and so on. The last line again starts with a '?' and indicates the wiki page to be used as the appendix. Sometimes you may want to merge contents of multiple wiki pages to one section/chapter. For that you can add a comma separated list of such pages as well. You can also customize the title of such a section by adding the following wikitext (title=) at the end of the line. Similarly you can customize the header for a specific section by using the (header=) syntax at the end of the line as shown in the example. To change the orientation of a specific chapter or section add (orientation=landscape)
  • title This parameter defines the name of the Docbook. This doesn't relate to any wiki page and is only used to name the files and the title of the docbook.
  • cover page This parameter specifies the wiki page to be used as the cover page.
  • headerThis parameter specifies the header to be used for every page of the docbook.
  • footerThis parameter specifies the footer to be used for every page of the docbook.
  • index terms This parameter is a comma separated list of terms that should be indexed.
  • index term categories If you have wiki pages for all your index terms you can add them to a category and mention it here.
  • orientation Lets you customize the orientation of the output format.
  • section_autolabel_max_depth Lets you set the parameter section.autolabel.max.depth in Docbook.
  • external_link_color Lets you set the color for external links for PDF.
  • size Lets you customize the size of the page.
  • column Lets you customize the number of columns.
  • margin-* Lets you customize the margin for each side of the page.
  • timestamp=1 Adds a timestamp on the bottom-right part of the cover page with the following text: Produced from <wiki URL> on <timestamp>.
  • font=Helvetica Lets you customize the font for the body of the PDF.
  • font size=10 Lets you customize the font size for the body of the PDF. The font size for the footnotes would be 0.8 times this size.
  • xsl_import̜_path=/var/www/html/mycustomxsl Lets you provide your custom XSL configuration files. This path would be replaced in the "DOCBOOKXSLPLACEHOLDER" path in the xsl template file instead of the standard docbook xsl files.

DocBook supports figures which are images or other media that can be referenced elsewhere in the document. A separate list of figures is also prepared. To define a figure you need to use the Figures extension.

Grouping of indexes is possible as well. To use this feature add the following wikitext to the index term page (create if required) specifying the group name:


Another approach to add grouping is by specifying a Semantic MediaWiki property which contains the group name, this can only be done for index term categories and can be specified using "group by" parameter as follows:

|index term categories=index terms(group by=Index has Group)

While styling in wiki pages is easy using CSS, the same styling is not carried forward to the Docbook. This can be a problem with tables which sometimes should have different widths for different columns. To solve this you can specify a class with the following format: colwidth-80-20, the extension will then convert it to the following Docbook XML which ensures that the column width is maintained in the Docbook:

   <colspec colwidth="80*" align="left"/>
   <colspec colwidth="20*" align="left"/>

Similarly, for a three column table specify the class as "colwidth-80-10-10"


This extension has been written by WikiWorks.

Development and HelpEdit

You are welcome to submit bug fixes in Gerrit and bug reports and feature requests in Wikimedia Phabricator under phab:tag/mediawiki-extensions-docbookexport.

Please also feel free to contact the author or WikiWorks for consulting on further developments, feature requests or bug fixes on this extension.

See alsoEdit