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1.1. Introduction

I've been maintaining this document for nearly six years (I believe the first submitted version was January 1998). I've received a lot of e-mail, almost all of it positive with a lot of great suggestions, and I've had a really good time doing this. Thanks to everyone for the support, suggestions, and translations!

I've had several requests both from individuals and the LDP group to issue a new version of this document, and it's long past due (two and a half years since the last version) - for which I apologize. Converting this monster to DocBook format was a daunting task, and then when I realized that I could now include images, I decided I needed to include all the cool examples that currently reside on my homepage. Adding these is a slow process, especially since I'm improving the code as I go, so only a few are included so far. This document will probably always feel incomplete to me ... I think however that it's reasonably sound from a technical point of view (although I have some mailed in fixes that aren't in here yet - if you've heard from me, they'll get in here eventually) so I'm going to post it and hope I can get to another version soon.

One other revision of note: this document (as requested by the LDP) is now under the GFDL. Enjoy.