GNU java2html 1.7

by Lorenzo Bettini

This is a simple program that, given a source java file, produces an html source with syntax highlighting.

Java2html is free software. Please see the file COPYING for details. For documentation, please read this file. As it is a GPL program, I provide sources (~70k), but if you don't fell like compiling it, you can download Win32 executable (~100k) (new).

Java2html is a GNU program, so you can download it also fro GNU's ftp site:

or from here:

You may also want to check the md5sum of the archives, which are also digitally signed by me (Lorenzo Bettini) with GNU gpg ( My GPG public key can be found at my home page (see at the end of this doc).

Java2html main home page is at GNU site:

You can also get the pacthes from the GNU ftp site (see below for patching from a previous version).

Changes in this release

Changes in release 1.6

Changes in release 1.5

Changes in release 1.4

see also NEWS file and ChangeLog for the complete list of changes between versions, or old-changes.html, for previous changes.


See the file INSTALL for detailed building and installation instructions; anyway if you're used to compiling Linux software that comes with sources you may simply follow the usual procedure:
cd <source code main directory>
make install
Note: unless you specify a different install directory by --prefix option of configure (e.g. ./configure --prefix=<your home>), you must be root to 'make install'.

Files will be installed in the following directories:

Default value for prefix is /usr/local but you may change it with --prefix option to configure (see above).

What you need to build java2html

Actually you need nothing more than a Unix C/C++ compiler.

java2html has been developed under Linux, using gcc (C++), and bison (yacc) and flex (lex), and ported under Win32 with Cygnus C/C++ compiler, available at (a .DLL is also distributed togheter with the .exe: you may simply copy it in the same place of the .exe). I used the excellent GNU Autoconf and Automake. I also used Autotools ( which creates a starting source tree (according to GNU standards) with autoconf, automake starting files. Finally I used GNU gengetopt (, for command line parsing.

Actually, unless you want to develop java2html, you don't need all these tools to build java2html because I provide generated sources; you don't need neither bison (yacc) nor flex (lex), for the same reason. Actually programs that use lex generated files need to link with library libfl (or libl for lex); anyway configuration phase can discover if this library is missing and in that case it sets the program to link with a source file I provide. This hack works for flex: I don't know about lex generated scanners. But, again, this is a problem only if you develop java2html and you use lex.

Patching from a previous version

If you downloaded a pacth, say java2html-1.3-1.3.1-patch.gz (i.e. the pacth to go from version 1.3 to version 1.3.1), cd to the directory with sources from the previous version (java2html-1.3) and type:
gunzip -cd ../java2html-1.3-1.3.1.patch.gz | patch -p1
and restart the compilation process (if you had already run configure a simple make will do).


java2html only does a lexical analisys of the source code, so the Java program is assumed to be correct !

here's how to run it:

java2html --input <file (a java prog)> --output <file (an html)>
if you want a real html document, specify --doc option at the end. Otherwise you just get some text to copy and paste in you own html pages. If you choose -doc option the page will have a white background and your source file name as title. --tab n option apply a substitution of tab characters with n spaces. You also may want to specify the title of the page with --title "my title" option (this implies -doc). Now you can also generate an html with CSS format, by using --css "url of .css" (try some .css files included in the package). The order of the options is not relevant. You may also want to customize the produced document: you can use --header and --footer options that allow you to specify files to be included, respectively, at the beginning and at the end of the document.

Use to make some test, if you want. Here's how Hello1.html, Hello2.html, Hello3.html, Hello4.html, Hello5.html, Hello_h_f.html were created:

java2html -i -o Hello1.html
java2html --input --output Hello2.html --doc
java2html -i -o Hello3.html --title "Happy Java with java2html :-)" --tab 3
java2html < > Hello4.html --title "and what about CSS :-)" --css "Hello.css"
java2html < > Hello5.html --title "Wooo... this is quite dark ;-D" --css "mono-alt.css"
java2html --doc *.java
Processed   (creates
java2html --doc -i -o Hello_h_f.html --header="header.html" --footer="footer.html"
which can also be obtained by typing
make check
And here's the output of `java2html -help`
Usage: java2html [OPTION]... [INPUT-FILE]...
       java2html < INPUT-FILE > OUTPUT-FILE [OPTION]...
given a source java file, produces an html source with syntax highlighting.
  -v, --verbose           verbose mode on
  -d, --doc               creates html with title, header...
  -c, --css=URL           use a css for formatting (implies --doc)
  -T, --title=TITLE       give title to the html (implies --doc)
  -i, --input=FILE        input file (default standard input)
  -o, --output=FILE       output file (default standard output)
  -t, --tab=TABLEN        specify tab length (default 8)
  -H, --header=STRING     file to insert as header
  -F, --footer=STRING     file to insert as footer
  -V, --version           print version
As it handles standard output and input you may also run it like
cat | java2html | lpr
You may want to specify your options for syntax highlighting in the file tags.j2h. If this file is not present in the current directory, some default colors will be used. Here's the tags.j2h file that comes with this distribution:
keyword blue b ;
type green ;
string red ;
comment brown i ;
number purple ;
as you might see the syntax of this file is quite straightforward: You may also specify more than on of these options separated by commas
keyword blue u, b ;

you may see all possible colors in the file colors.html

if something goes wrong with your options try to run java2html with --verbose option enabled


Many people sent me much feedback and some of them also sent some patches for bug fixes and new features :-)
Here they are (if I forgot someone please mail me): See also THANKS file and mails.txt :-)


Tell me if you like this software :-)

Actually I want to extend it, so if you have some ideas...
The most import one will be to make java2html more customizable :-)

Please send all bug reports by electronic mail to:

See also cpp2html


Here's the list of TODO stuff, if you'd like to contribute :-)

Mailing Lists

The following mailing lists are available: if you want to subscribe to a mailing list just go to the URL and follow the instructions, or send me an e-mail and I'll subscribe you.

My home page is  or (very fast if you're in University)
and this is my e-mail address where you can contact me about java2html, or other things

java2html is free software. See the file COPYING for copying conditions. Anyway I won't get offended if you send me a postcard :-)

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Copyright (C) 1999 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

 Updated: 27 Mar 1999 jonas