let us see what we can find about 10 years of writing docs by volunteers.
As Matt Welsh, one of the co-founders, puts it: "The history of the LDP is a pretty murky memory these days." It started in 1992, before the World Wide Web existed - hard to imagine how we did without HTML, but in those days almost everything was FTP and Usenet, and dial-in to a BBS most likely. In the beginning, most of the documentation was in one big file, split up in sections, called the Linux FAQ. But as Linux capabilities grew, it was no longer possible for one person to maintain it, and pretty soon not even for several people to manage the job. Thus the HOWTOs were born, each describing a part of the original big chunk of information, an easily extendible system that allowed for many authors to contribute their part in their area of specialization.
That effort lead to the use of SGML, allowing for fast generation of all sorts of output formats, including HTML, from one source file or set of files. The first tests were conducted at Sunsite (a famous server machine at the University of North Carolina), which was the first web site offering information about Linux. Also when you wanted to download Linux software, sunsite.unc.edu was the place to go. It still contains some kernel archives - probably by accident, there are also a lot of empty directories these days.
Before the crash last month I was able to find, via FTP, a document referring to two maintainers of the LDP as it was ran by the end of 1994 at UNC. It pointed to Jon Magid and a mysterious Erik with no last name, who was still at Sunsite in 1996. Will his last name be revealed in the next edition? Check it out next week!
They have been around for a while, but now they've officially joined the LDP: A warm welcome please, for our Italian colleagues from ILDP and the Pluto Linux User Group!
Dan York sent in a message to the <email@example.com> list inviting volunteers for testing and updating the LDP XSLT stylesheets with the latest version (1.16.2) of the DocBook stylesheets. The LDP stylesheets are based on version 1.44, which apparently do not work, because, the way documentation in the standard stylesheets is done has changed. If you are interested in doing this, you might like to help David Horton who has volunteered to do this.
If you have just started using DocBook and you are looking for DocBook equivalents of HTML tags, Martin A. Brown's short help with examples should be useful. The DocBook tags are of-course available from DocBook: The Definitive Guide.
David Merrill sent in a mail inviting an IRC discussion on Lampadas for discussing (1) Plone work, (2) a possible resurrection of the old Lampadas mod_python code but with a much more limited scope and (3) any other concerns you have. David Lawyer was of the opinion that new volunteers could be of help with Lampadas provided they done some programming in the past. Elsewhere, to David Merrill's comment that he would like to modify the CMF to use a plugin system for raw content, Nicolas Chauvat said that David Merrill should not try doing it on his own but needs co-ordination, because, plone has OpenOffice support and was progressing at a very fast pace.
Please help us create this weekly newsletter. Seen a site putting in a story with a link to the LDP? Completed the translation of any HOWTO? Know of any articles about the LDP published in newspapers or magazines? You can update us by sending in links and information at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
LDP Weekly News is edited by Machtelt Garrels, Torsten Schlabach and Y Giridhar Appaji Nag with help from several other people.