Installing AsciiDoc on OSX

AsciiDoc is a markup language and tool that I’m starting to play with to produce DocBook and PDF/HTML versions of my work. It took me a little longer than expected to get it up and running, so hopefully this blog will serve as a quick install guide for you, as well as the future me.

First I had to install Homebrew, a useful package manager fo OSX:

$ sudo mkdir /usr/local/homebrew
$ cd /usr/local/homebrew
$ sudo curl -L https://github.com/mxcl/homebrew/tarball/master | tar xz --strip 1 -C .
$ sudo ln -s `pwd`/bin/brew /usr/local/bin/brew

Next-up was installing AsciiDoc and other required libraries via brew:

$ sudo brew install autoconf automake libevent asciidoc

After this I had to update my bash profile file to set an environment variable that points to the XML catalog created as part of the AsciiDoc installation:

$ echo "export XML_CATALOG_FILES=/usr/local/etc/xml/catalog" >>  ~/.bash_profile

Now you have to download Apache FOP, a print formatter used by AsciiDoc to create PDF’s, which in my case resulted in a file at ~/Downloads/fop-1.0-bin.tar.gz. Untar the contents and create a symbollic link for fop:

$ cd /usr/local/
$ sudo tar -xzvf ~/Downloads/fop-1.0-bin.tar.gz
$ sudo ln -s /usr/local/fop-1.0/fop /usr/bin/fop

Finally, let’s make sure that everything is installed correctly. Create a sample AsciiDoc file called sample.asciidoc with the following contents:

Your First AsciiDoc
Jane Blogs
:Author Initials: JB

This is your first AsciiDoc file - yay for you!

You can then run a2x, which will first generate a DocBook version of your AsciiDoc file, and then goes on to generate the PDF.

$ a2x -v -fpdf -dbook --fop sample.asciidoc

This should create a sample.pdf in the same directory as your AsciiDoc file. You can also generate a HTML version with:

$ asciidoc -b html5 -a data-uri -a toc2 tada.asciidoc

About the author

Hadoop in Practice, Second Edition

Alex Holmes works on tough big-data problems. He is a software engineer, author, speaker, and blogger specializing in large-scale Hadoop projects. He is the author of Hadoop in Practice, a book published by Manning Publications. He has presented multiple times at JavaOne, and is a JavaOne Rock Star.

If you want to see what Alex is up to you can check out his work on GitHub, or follow him on Twitter or Google+.

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