Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-marketing (277 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-marketing] The openSUSE Handbook proposal
  • From: Christian Boltz <opensuse@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Oct 2010 01:56:14 +0200
  • Message-id: <201010040156.15277@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

on Donnerstag, 30. September 2010, Frank Sundermeyer wrote:
On Wed, 29 Sep 2010 21:59:56 +0200 Jos Poortvliet wrote:

[file format of the manual and conversation to XML, PDF, ePub etc.]
All this does not sound like a wiki or *pad is the tool of choice.
Once you choose to use these tools it is pretty hard or even
impossible to switch to another tool, to add another output format,

I'm not sure about that. I don't say that it will be very easy, but it
should be possible, and it won't be too hard.

90% of the formatting can be done with plain wikitext, and for the
remaining 10% templates can be used (which can, but don't have to have a
visible effect in the wiki). A "visible" template might be something
like "text printed on screen", an "invisible" template might contain a
keyword for the book index.

I think we could even develop a "XML skin" for mediawiki so that the
wiki can generate valid docbook/novdoc XML out of wiki pages (with
<para> instead of <p> etc.).
The alternative solution would be to post-process the wikitext or the
HTML to convert it to XML. Basically the two methods don't differ too
much, the main difference/question is if you want XML output integrated
in the wiki or not.

I would propose XML hosted on SVN. Although the learning curve would
be a bit stepper than with e.g. wiki markup it would give us the
maximum flexibilty and a guaranteed future.

I'm afraid that the learning curve is too high - lessons for lizards
unfortunately gave you/us that lesson...
I don't know if the learning curve was the only problem there, but at
least it's "I have to learn another thing before I can contribute".

Whatsmore, the existing
documentation (speaking of almost 2000 pages!!) already uses XML.

OK, _that_ is an argument. But as you already wrote, it shouldn't be
hard to convert it to wikitext. And it would be a good testbed for the
wikitext to XML converter - ideally there should be no difference after
converting it forth and back again ;-) (and that would make us better
than google translator *g*)

Apart from that, even if XML would be no choice at all, why using
another tool apart from our wiki? What's wrong with

nothing ;-)

Plans to host the complete openSUSE documentation in a public SVN at
berlios exist for quite some time, the structure is already in place,
everything is prepared... .

Does that mean you can just do a SVN commit and everything is public?
If yes, please do it!

In case you wonder: this doesn't mean I take back what I said above.

I see the public SVN as a fast solution so that people have a chance to
dig into the manual's source. It might even be read-only in the
beginning - having to upload patches to bugzilla or send them to the
-doc mailinglist is still easier than reporting "on page 123 in section
'foo', there's a typo in 'baar'".

But even if you give out SVN write access, I'm afraid that not many
people will contribute to the XML source because of the learning curve.
You have to "switch" from the rendered manual (HTML, PDF, ...) to the
XML source, and you have to know at least some XML basics.

OTOH the wiki is more like a long(er)-term solution, but makes
contribution much easier - just click "Edit".

Yes, writing a good wiki-to-XML tool will need some work, but it is
possible. And it is worth the effort IMHO.

If you are interested, we can discuss this at the conference and maybe
work a bit on a sandbox article in the wiki to see if it works as I
think. Just drop me a note and propose a meeting time. I'll be there on
Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (Offer not limited to Frank - everybody
who is interested is welcome at such a meeting.)

... and get ppl to write...

That will be the hardest part. How many _regular contributors_ (not
speaking of ppl doing administrative tasks) do we have in the wiki?

You've seen the numbers from Rajko - around 90 active users in the last
3 months. That's still 89 more than in the "lessons for lizards" *g,d&r*


Christian Boltz
Wo steht der Server eigentlich? Kann den die Putzfrau treten?
Oder mal mit dem Staubsauger ├╝berfahren? Denen fallen ab und an
Gemeinheiten ein auf die ein Normalsterblicher nie kommen w├╝rde. :\
[Daniel Lord in suse-linux]
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