A common requirement for technical publications groups is to produce a Web-based help format that includes a table of contents pane, a search feature, and an index similar to what you get from the Microsoft HTML Help (.chm) format or Eclipse help. If the content is help for a Web application that is not exposed to the Internet or requires that the user be logged in, then it is impossible to use services like Google to add search.


  • Sophisticated CSS-based page layout

  • Client-side search.

    • Provides full content search of the documentation. Shows the search results with links to chunked pages, and a small description.

    • Search results scoring/rating - The results are weighted according to how many times the words in search query appears in it, is it bold or not, is in index terms etc. The score out of 5 is shown by small colored boxes after each search-result.

    • Search results can include brief descriptions of the target.

    • Stemming support for English, French, and German. Stemming support can be added for other languages by implementing a stemmer.

    • Support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages using code from the Lucene search engine.

    • Search highlighting shows where the searched term appears in the results.

  • Table of contents (TOC) pane with collapsible toc tree.

  • Auto-synchronization of content pane and TOC.

  • Nicely placed small forward, backward, top links

  • TOC and search pane implemented without the use of a frameset.

  • An Ant script and sample Makefile to generate output. You can use the ant build file by importing it into your own or use it as a model for integrating this output format into your own build system. Alternatively, you can use the build scripts as a template for creating your own script. You can also generate webhelp from DocBook using the Docbkx Maven plugin.