8.1 External Tools
Many tools are needed to be able to process the Python
documentation if all supported formats are required. This
section lists the tools used and when each is required. Consult
the Doc/README file to see if there are specific version
requirements for any of these.
- This program is a typical part of TEX installations. It is
used to generate PostScript from the ``device independent''
.dvi files. It is needed for the conversion to
- Emacs is the kitchen sink of programmers' editors, and a damn
fine kitchen sink it is. It also comes with some of the
processing needed to support the proper menu structures for
Texinfo documents when an info conversion is desired. This is
needed for the info conversion. Using xemacs
instead of FSF emacs may lead to instability in the
conversion, but that's because nobody seems to maintain the
Emacs Texinfo code in a portable manner.
- LATEX is a large and extensible macro package by Leslie
Lamport, based on TEX, a world-class typesetter by Donald
Knuth. It is used for the conversion to PostScript, and is
needed for the HTML conversion as well (LATEX2HTML requires
one of the intermediate files it creates).
- Probably the longest Perl script anyone ever attempted to
maintain. This converts LATEX documents to HTML documents,
and does a pretty reasonable job. It is required for the
conversions to HTML and GNU info.
- This is a text-mode Web browser which includes an
HTML-to-plain text conversion. This is used to convert
howto documents to text.
- Just about any version should work for the standard documents,
but GNU make is required for the experimental
processes in Doc/tools/sgmlconv/, at least while
they're experimental. This is not required for running the
- This is a standard program for converting LATEX index data
to a formatted index; it should be included with all LATEX
installations. It is needed for the PDF and PostScript
- GNU makeinfo is used to convert Texinfo documents to
GNU info files. Since Texinfo is used as an intermediate
format in the info conversion, this program is needed in that
- pdfTEX is a relatively new variant of TEX, and is used to
generate the PDF version of the manuals. It is typically
installed as part of most of the large TEX distributions.
pdflatex is pdfTEX using the LATEX format.
- Perl is required for LATEX2HTML and one of the scripts used
to post-process LATEX2HTML output, as well as the
HTML-to-Texinfo conversion. This is required for
the HTML and GNU info conversions.
- Python is used for many of the scripts in the
Doc/tools/ directory; it is required for all
conversions. This shouldn't be a problem if you're interested
in writing documentation for Python!
See About this document... for information on suggesting changes.