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RE: Authorship

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pal Domokos []
> Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 10:07 AM
> To: ldp-discuss@lists.linuxdoc.org
> Subject: RE: Authorship
> Hi Gary and everybody,
> Just a couple of notes to the main points (> is Gary's, >> is mine):
> >>If we still want to recommend tools, the order should be:
> >>open source tools on Linux,
> >>free tools on Linux,
> >>commercial tools on Linux,
> >>the rest.
> >>Why? Because we are doing Linux here.
> >Provincial. We should list anything that works, with pros 
> and cons. If
> >something is better than open source tools, then open source 
> tools should
> look into
> >upgrading their tools. The FSF isn't about provincialism, it's about
> >sharing the best information about programming we can find.
> >Linux is not going to win the battle of the OSs because you 
> or we support
> it.
> >It's going to win because it's best and the tools available 
> for it are best.
> >It won't get best by being provincial.
> Perhaps I was not precise enough here. Give me another chance 
> to explain it:
> HOWTOs are about how to do something on Linux. It is possible 
> (and, in some
> cases, absolutely sure) that a certain task can be 
> accomplished more quickly,
> or more
> easily, or more anything on a different OS, say Windows. 
> However, a Linux
> will only cover the topic on Linux. Windows users will not 
> turn to a Linux
> HOWTO if they have a problem.
> The HOWTO-HOWTO is also a HOWTO, although a special one. It 
> is not about
> "sharing the best information about" writing in DocBook. It 
> is Linux-oriented,
> or,
> if you like, Linux-biased.
> This is what I meant by "we are doing Linux here".
> Is this provincialism?

Actually, a great deal of the HOWTOs are not Linux specific, they tell you
how to do something under linux.  For example, about 80% of the CD-Writing
HOWTO is NOT specific to linux.  The only pieces that are specific to linux
are the ones on how to compile the kernel.  Everything else works on any
Unix-like system.  If this HOWTO was to cover ONLY the linux portions,
nobody would be able to figure anything out from the HOWTO, as it would lack
all of the general information.  

The HOWTO-HOWTO is indeed a special HOWTO.  I do NOT believe it should be
about howto to write a HOWTO using linux tools, it should be about how to
write a HOWTO covering some Linux topic.  You tell them what tools are
available, and how those tools rank it terms of features and ease of use.

> A practical note: I do not quite see how to write about a 
> Linux theme while
> using Windows. For me, it would involve rebooting the machine 
> every ten
> minutes
> or so.

I can think of many occasions where this doesn't apply.  I've got 4
computers on or around my desk at home, one of them runs MS Windows,
sometimes.  If I was writing documentation about my S/linux machine, I could
easily do that on the windows machine, while I was looking at the SPARC next
to me.  As a second example, how about what Gary did?  Take an existing
HOWTO who's topic you're familiar with, and re-write it, or make changes.
You might not need to have access to your Linux machine to do that,
depending on how often you work with that topic, and how familiar you are
with it.  There are other scenarios, but I think those are enough.

Please, stop with the Holy War.

> >>Things will definitely change when we move to XML: we will 
> have more tools.
> >If wishes were horses, then beggars could ride.
> Good to know.
> What I meant was there are much more XML editors than SGML editors.

Really?  What about processing tools, and search engines?  There are more,
but they are largely untested with DocBook, since it's only been officially
XML for a couple of weeks.

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