LDP Weekly News
by David Merrill
Wiki-Style EditingLast week, I wrote that I hoped to have at least some Wiki-style text editing available for authors by this week. Luckily, things went pretty well and I am happy to report that Wiki editing is online and ready for authors who wish to help beta test it. The three-day weekend here in the United States, where we celebrated Martin Luther King Day, was a big help. :-)
The online editing function resides in the LDP Database, our interactive website for document management. The url for the LDP Database is http://db.linuxdoc.org. However, the WikiText itself is processed by a standalone utility, so you can use the easier text-based format even if you don't want to use the online editing.
There are a couple of new features that have been added this week. Most notable are two "namespaces" to help make interdocument linking a piece of cake. If you want to link to another LDP document, you can use its "short name". For example, a link to the Distributions HOWTO, in WikiText, looks like this:
The second namespace lets you make easy links into the Wikipedia. To make those links, use:
Eventually, I plan to start mirroring a small subset of the Wikipedia that deals directly with information relevant to Linux, to supplement and complete the information already available from the LDP. Those articles would give background information about basic concepts, rather than the HOWTO type of information we already publish.
I still have some capabilities left to code that will make the whole experience nicer. One feature that is glaring in its absence is the ability to view, edit, and revert to prior versions of your document. That should get coded this week. Another feature I'm working on right now is the ability to edit very large documents without long delays, by chunking each section into its own page.
I personally am using WikiText for my own documents, including the Linux FAQ which I just took maintainership of a few weeks ago. If you're an LDP author who has been struggling with DocBook, or if DocBook was a hurdle keeping you from writing for the LDP, you really should try the new online editing capability and/or the WikiText utility, txt2db.pl.
There are undoubtedly still some bugs hiding in the code which only real-world use will uncover. If you should hit on one, please report it to me and I'll fix it ASAP.
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.
For more LDP Weekly News, go to http://www.linuxdoc.org/ldpwn/