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3. Reviewing Existing Documentation

This project will focus on reviewing documentation that already exists at the LDP. Our goal is to implement a quality management program that makes sure we are supplying up-to-date, accurate, easily read documentation. This process will be ongoing throughout the life of the LDP. Initially, we will try to review all documents currently on the LDP. Once we have made our way through existing documents, we will schedule dates for follow-up reviews. By continually reviewing the documents throughout their life at the LDP, we help make sure readers have the best possible experience with Linux documentation.

In addition to the primary goal of improving the quality of the documentation itself, we will also be gathering data about the collection for storage in some sort of database to facilitate the ongoing management of the collection. However, this stage of the review is still being defined; details about the specifics and how this data will be measured will be added in the future.

Below are some general guidelines that you should follow before you begin reviewing existing documentation for the LDP. Please try to have document reviews completed within two weeks of the time you sign up to review a document.

3.1. Choosing a Document

There are many documents that need review. The most important thing is that you coordinate your work with the other reviewers. To coordinate the effort, we have set up a mailing list for reviewers.

Notify the editor list (instructions for subscribing are at http://www.tldp.org/mailinfo.html#maillists) before you begin to review a document. We want to make sure your work is directed where it is most needed and where it will be most useful. Of course, you may have a particular area of expertise and that will dictate your choice to some extent. You can ask on the list for an assignment, or you can select one for yourself and just let the mailing list know what you're doing.

3.2. License Issues

Make sure you have the legal right to work on the document. If it is licensed under a free license that specifically grants such rights, you are fine. If not, you need to contact the author and get permission.

If you do not plan to actually change any of the content, but simply report on the document's status, then you don't need permission, regardless of license. Of course, it is still polite, and advisable, to write the author anyway.

If a document is missing a copyright and/or license, it's recommended you advise the author to choose and apply one. More information on licensing is available in Section 7

3.3. Working With the Latest Version

Make sure the copy you are reviewing is the most current.

If your document includes a URL to an official homepage, visit that page and see if it displays the same version number. If you find the same version number, you are fine. If you find a newer version number, write to the author and ask him or her to please submit the newer version to you.

3.4. Picking a Review to Conduct

There are many different ways a document can be reviewed, and you may have the skills to do only one or two types of reviews. It is sometimes useful (and easier) to do each review as a separate pass through the document; Your Mileage May Vary.

The following sections explain the various types of reviews we are conducting. Use these sections as a guide to help you choose the type of review to conduct and to help you conduct the review itself. Again, when you post your review choice to the review list, please specify the type of review you would like to be responsible for.