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Chapter 6. AsciiDoctor Primer
AsciiDoctor Primer
Most FDP documentation is written with AsciiDoc. This chapter explains what that means, how to read and understand the documentation source, and the techniques used. To get a complete reference of the AsciiDoctor capabilities please consult the link:https://docs.asciidoctor.org/home/[Asciidoctor documentation]. Some of the examples used in this chapter have been taken from the link:https://docs.asciidoctor.org/asciidoc/latest/syntax-quick-reference[AsciiDoc Syntax Quick Reference].
In the original days of computers, electronic text was simple. There were a few character sets like ASCII or EBCDIC, but that was about it. Text was text, and what you saw really was what you got. No frills, no formatting, no intelligence.
Inevitably, this was not enough. When text is in a machine-usable format, machines are expected to be able to use and manipulate it intelligently. Authors want to indicate that certain phrases should be emphasized, or added to a glossary, or made into hyperlinks. Filenames could be shown in a “typewriter” style font for viewing on screen, but as “italics” when printed, or any of a myriad of other options for presentation.
It was once hoped that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would make this easy. The computer would read the document and automatically identify key phrases, filenames, text that the reader should type in, examples, and more. Unfortunately, real life has not happened quite like that, and computers still require assistance before they can meaningfully process text.
More precisely, they need help identifying what is what. Consider this text:
To remove [.filename]#/tmp/foo#, use man:rm[1].
% rm /tmp/foo
It is easy for the reader to see which parts are filenames, which are commands to be typed in, which parts are references to manual pages, and so on. But the computer processing the document cannot reliably determine this. For this we need markup.
The previous example is actually represented in this document like this:
To remove [.filename]#/tmp/foo#, use man:rm[1].
% rm /tmp/foo
AsciiDoctor supports six headings levels. If the document type is `article` only one level 0 (`=`) can be used. If the document type is `book` then there can be multiple level 0 (`=`) headings.
This is an example of headings in an `article`.
Document Title (Level 0)
Level 1 Section Title