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Re: Manifesto

On Mon, 23 Oct 2000, Edward M. Corrado wrote:

> ... if a potential contributor needs to learn
> a whole new program (to them), such as LinuxDoc or DocBook, or jump
> through a number of hoops to submit their documentation, they might just
> decide it is not worth the effort.

I whole-heartedly agree.  (Even though I am in favour of all authors
eventually achieving proficiency in markup skills.  The two views are
neither inconsistent nor mutually incompatible.)

However -- and from a purely practical point of view -- the most useful
HOWTO information always comes from those who have struggled _hard_ to
get something to work; have learned all the ins and outs of so
doing; and have amassed a great deal of understanding of just what needs
to be done, and in what order, and where the tools to do it may be found
-- and want nothing more than to pass on their learning to others.

And THAT is what the LDP requires.

Not, I am afraid, a beautifully marked-up chunk of text.
(Which, incidentally, may take a further six months to produce). 

So my advice to all would-be authors/HOWTO writers is this -- produce
your text; make sure its structure is clear and obvious; have it read
over by a friend or two; if you can't produce it in SGML-tagged format,
then reduce it to flat ASCII from whatever you produced it in; remove
all superfluous blank lines; spell-check it; announce its availability
via this list (or make it available on some web-site or other); request
editorial assistance for its conversion to SGML/any other required 
format; then wait for comments.

If you don't get any comments, either no-one's interested in the topic, 
or no-one's interested in the writing.
If you don't get conversion, then none of the available editors could
find the time/energy (we're all over-extended).

In any case, it's no longer your problem -- let the mandarins deal with
it from there on in.


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