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Manifesto Draft-2

DRAFT-2 LDP MANIFESTO (Please comment on this draft.)
Original was DRAFT-0.  This text version will be redone as a sgml
document and have a few links.  This draft is a major revision which
would replace the previous revision of Sept. 1998.

+ => changed from draft-1 


Revised on xx November 1999, by David S. Lawyer
This file describes the goals, status, and policies of the LDP.


The Linux Documentation Project is working on developing free, high
quality documentation for the GNU/Linux operating system.  The
overall goal of the LDP is to collaborate in all of the issues of
Linux documentation.  This includes the creation of "HOWTOs" and
"Guides".  We hope to establish a system of documentation for Linux
that will be easy to use and search.  This includes the integration
of the manual pages, info docs, HOWTOs, and other documents.

LDP's goal is to create the canonical set of free Linux documentation.
While online (and downloadable) documentation can be frequently
updated in order to stay on top of the many changes in the Linux
world, we also like to see the same docs included on CDs and printed
in books.  If you are interested in publishing any of the LDP works,
see the section ``Publishing LDP Manuals'', below.  

The LDP is essentially a loose team of volunteers with minimal
central organization.  Anyone who would like to help is welcome to
join in this effort.  We feel that working together informally and
discussing projects on our mailing lists is the best way to go.
When we disagree on things, we try to reason with each other until
we reach an informed consensus. 


Currently, the major effort of the LDP is the writing of HOWTOs.  If
you think you would like to write a certain HOWTO first check to see
if one already exists on your topic.  If so, you may contact the
maintainer and offer to help.  If there is no HOWTO about it, you
may want to create a new HOWTO.  See the Howto-HOWTO and/or the
HOWTO-INDEX for more details.  

The "Guides" are large book-size LDP documents covering broad
topics such as system administration.  We also maintain the
man-pages for C-programming and devices.

Other tasks include checking the HOWTOs for clarity and errors,
improving our website, and developing an integrated system of
documentation for Linux.  If you are interested in any such project
(other than writing HOWTOs), contact the current LDP Leader Guylhem 
Aznar at guylhem@oeil.qc.ca.


The LDP has over 200 mirror sites worldwide where one may inspect
and/or download LDP documents.  The main site is
http://www.linuxdoc.org.  Go here to find the list of mirror sites
and then use the nearest mirror site. 


Here are the conventions that are currently used by LDP documents.
+ If you are interested in writing another document using different
conventions, please let us know of your plans first.

Regular HOWTO documents must be in SGML format using the linuxdoc
DTD, which is quite simple.  We may eventually change to the DocBook
DTD.  For mini-HOWTOs, you may use HTML format if you like.

The guides -- full books produced by the LDP -- have historically been
done in LaTeX, as their primary goal has been to be printed
documentation.  However, guide authors have been moving towards SGML
with the DocBook DTD, because it allows them to create more different
kinds of output, both printed and on-line.  If you use LaTeX, we have
a style file you can use to keep your printed look consistent with
other LDP documents.

The man pages -- the Unix standard for online manuals -- are created
with the Unix standard nroff man (or BSD mdoc) macros.


+ Anyone may copy and distribute (sell or give away) LDP documents (or
+ other LDP works) in any media and/or format.  No fees are 
required to be paid to the authors.  It is not required that the
documents be modifiable, but it is encouraged.  

You can come up with your own license terms that satisfy these
conditions, or you can use a previously prepared license.  The LDP
has a boilerplate license that you can use if you wish.  Some people
like to use the GPL, while others write their own.  There is a
project underway to create a special GPL license just for documents
and this may turn out to be a good choice.

The copyright for each document should be in the name of the
principle authors.  ``The Linux Documentation Project'' isn't a
formal entity and thus can't be used as a copyright owner.


Here is a sample copyright notice and``boilerplate'' license you may 
want to use for your work:

Copyright (c) 2000 by John Doe (change to your name)

Please freely copy and distribute (sell or give away) this document
in any format.  Forward any corrections and comments to the document
maintainer.  You may create a derivative work and distribute it
provided that you:

1. Send your derivative work (in the most suitable format such as
  sgml) to the LDP (or the like) for posting on the Internet.  If not
  the LDP, then let the LDP know where it is available.  Send a copy
  to the previous maintainer's url as shown in the latest version.  
+ 2. License the derivative work [What goes here is controversial:  I
+  proposed "in the spirit of this license" others want "using this
+  license"], or use GPL.  Include a copyright notice and at least a
   pointer to your license.
3. Give due credit to previous authors and major contributors.

If you're considering making a derived work other than a
translation, it's requested that you discuss your plans with the
current maintainer.  We would like to avoid unnecessary forks in


If you're a publishing company interested in distributing any of the
LDP documents, read on.

By the license requirements given previously, anyone is allowed to
publish and distribute verbatim copies of the Linux Documentation
Project documents. You don't need our explicit permission for this.
However, if you would like to distribute a translation or derivative
work based on any of the LDP documents, you may need to obtain
permission from the author, in writing, before doing so, if the
license requires that.  

You may, of course, sell the LDP documents for profit. We encourage
you to do so. Keep in mind, however, that because the LDP documents
are freely distributable, anyone may make copies and distribute
them.  Thus the parts of a book which may be freely copied should
be separated (and identified) in such a manner as to facilitate
copying them without infringing on the copyright of other

We do not require you to pay royalties from any profit earned by
selling LDP documents. However, we would like to suggest that if you
do sell LDP documents for profit, that you either offer the author
royalties, or donate a portion of your earnings to the author, the LDP
as a whole, or to the Linux development community. You may also wish
to send one or more free copies of the LDP documents that you are
distributing to the authors.  Your show of support for the LDP and the
Linux community will be very much appreciated.

We would like to be informed of any plans to publish or distribute LDP
documents, just so we know how they're becoming available.  If you are
publishing or planning to publish any LDP documents, please send mail to
ldp-discuss@lists.linuxdoc.org.  It's nice to know who's doing what.

We encourage Linux software distributors to distribute the LDP
documents on CDs with their software.  The LDP documents are
intended to be used as "official" Linux documentation, and we are
glad to see distributors bundling the LDP documents with the

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