LDP Weekly News
by David Merrill
Online Editing, Wiki-styleWe are working to provide simple online editing functions for authors who desire to use it, something similar to a WikiWikiWeb. It won't have all the functionality that a true Wiki has, but it will provide tracking of recent changes and the ability to diff between versions as well as a diff from the authoritative cvs version.
Because we have had feedback from authors who are concerned about having to learn something new, or having to track changes to two versions, the web interface will be completely optional at the request of the author. Authors who like using the cvs or mailing their updates by email may continue to do so as usual.
I hope to have at least some minimal functionality to report in next week's LDPWN. Thanks go to Martin Wheeler for the original idea.
Is It DocBook, Or Is It Text?A side project that came out of the original "Wiki" idea is a utility that converts from a very simple Wiki-style text format into DocBook, the very large and complex XML DTD that we use to store our documentation. It's hard to explain, so here is an example. Here is a trivial DocBook fragment in standard DocBook format:
<sect1><title id='intro'>Introduction</title> <para> Welcome to the <ulink url='http://www.linuxdoc.org'> <citetitle>Linux Documentation Project</citetitle> </ulink> </para> </sect1>
Even in this extremely simple example, you can see that DocBook can be verbose. Some would say that is a great understatement. :-) That's one of the reasons many authors continue to work in LinuxDoc, which is simpler but less powerful.
In the simplified text format, this becomes:
=Introduction|intro= Welcome to the [[http://www.linuxdoc.org|Linux Documentation Project]]
The simplified text format will not even begin to cover all of the many tags that DocBook provides. That would be a losing battle. Rather than fight that losing battle, we're allowing for DocBook to be inserted inline into the text. Unfortunately we have not yet figured out a way to do it the other way around -- you won't be able to insert the text hints inside any DocBook structures.
These documents have been abandoned by their maintainers and many of them have not been updated in some time. If you're willing to become the maintainer for one of them, please join the LDP discussion list at lists.linuxdoc.org and post a message indicating your interest.
About the LDP
The Linux Documentation Project is developing free, high quality documentation for the GNU/Linux operating system. This includes the creation of HOWTOs and Guides, and collaboration with other documentation groups.
If you've always wanted to help Linux reach Total World Domination(tm), but you're not a programmer, there's still something you can do. Help the LDP!
The LDP keeps a page of resources for authors at http://www.linuxdoc.org/authors/. Contributions are always welcome.
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