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Feature proposal: New, Standard Documentation System



Far too often I find myself looking for non-existent man pages, Google results, or help menus in GNU/Linux software. What's the problem? There is no single, reliable, standardized documentation system that is universally accepted or appreciated. Yes, what I'm about to describe should obsolete man, info, and all the other dozen "help" documentation found in all the Fedora packages.

Problem case out of the way: Fedora should pioneer a GNU/Linux documentation system that meets these criteria:
1. Lightweight
The entire system should not demand hundreds of megs of fonts, images, or other non-reusable requirements. I'm looking at you texlive. Recommendations: SQLite, ncurses, GTK. Existing toolkits; not new ones.
2. CLI and GUI front-ends
Allow users to be presented to a universal and familiar front-end no matter where they are. The parts should also be separable so that, for instance, if there is no X requirement in a said environment, the help packages should not require QT, GTK, etc.
3. Universal formatting
Obvious criteria, however, application specific formatting should be allowed as an optional addition after a standard format has been met.
4. Easy to use creation tools
It shouldn't take a programmer background to write help documentation. Be it WYSIWYG tools or a simple XML-like (hey, or even XML) language to create documentation pages.
5. Global access
You should be able to access any and all documentation for all software through a single window, be it X or console, without having to open the corresponding program.

Optional criteria:
1. Platform independence (for use on non-GNU/Linux systems)

Feel free to rip me apart. To me, and I'm sure most standard Linux users, documentation for /any/ piece of software is a nightmare, even if you are the original author. It should not be that way!

Regards,
Michael


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