LiveDocs - making DocBook less painful

Having been frustrated by the length of time that it takes to build the substantial PHP manual from its XML sources (45 minutes or so), I hacked together a nice simple but effective tool (using PHP, of course!) to index the DocBook sources (takes less than 2 minutes), and transform the XML into HTML on-the-fly.

You only need to re-index the content if you add a new node or a new XML file. Any changes you make to your docs are then "instantly" visible in your browser.

It's almost the same as having a WYSIWYG editor, but without the agony of fighting with their "intelligent" code mangling.

I'm planning to package this up as a more generic tool (so that I can apply it to my own internal documentation) and make it available for download from

You can see a sample of the output at