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Re: Using elvis?



On Fri, 2004-07-30 at 08:32, Hoyt wrote:
> On Friday 30 July 2004 02:34 am, Karsten Wade wrote:
> > > Why can't we use elvis.redhat.com ? Anaconda, translations and so on
> > > happen at elvis, so why not fedora docs? This will mean external
> > > contributors *can* commit to cvs as well
> >
> > This is an interesting end-run idea.  Speaking for myself, my
> > inclination is not to create a parallel system to what is being worked
> > on and waited for.
> 
> And it looks a little neglected as well, focusing as it does on RH8 
> documentation that is painfully incomplete.

The reason, aiui, for using elvis is that it is already configured for
internal-external collaboration for documentation, historically in terms
of translation for Red Hat Linux.  As such, using it would be an end-run
around the Long Awaited Public CVS Access.

> As a technical writer, I have always found the requirement to use complex 
> formatting tools an onerous burden. Unless formatting is crucial to 
> understanding the content, it is a task better left to an editor. While I 
> certainly understand the need to use sophisticated formatting in this case
> 
> The focus for the writer should be on what they do best: content. The 
> important work of formatting (if not known by the writer, and there's no 
> reason why they can't learn it if they wish) should be left to those who are 
> experts there. That there are volunteers that offer to handle that is 
> wonderful and a great example of cooperative work to acjhieve a goal.

The bummer is, DocBook is supposed to provide that, in an ideal sense. 
It is entirely focused on content, excluding style to the point that you
go through painful contortions to make the text meaningful enough for
style to be applied later.

Moot point, anyway.  We can take any structured text (just means nice
paragraphs and headers set off on lines by themselves, with * bullet
lists, etc.) and convert that to DocBook with minimal hassle.  And we
are certainly willing to do it to get content generated.

There have been some reasonable conversions from Wiki done on this list,
so a writer can work in a meaningful and structured way that allows us
to convert fairly easily to vanilla DocBook.

Once the content is converted to DocBook, I predict 50% of those who
wrote plain vanilla for conversion will be able to easily maintain the
document themselves in DocBook.

> Is there a web page to recruit writing volunterrs? and provide them with 
> enough information so that they may feel comfortable making a contribution? 
> If not, I'd be glad to offer a draft of such a page.

Hee hee, that's what http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/docs is supposed
to do.  How does this idea sound?  Look through all of that, see what
you would change to accomplish the goal of attracting writers of
content, file a full bugzilla report with your proposed changes, and
send us back a link to the report under the "what is ready for
fedora.redhat.com" thread.  We can put collaborative fixes back into the
bug report.

- Karsten
-- 
Karsten Wade, RHCE, Tech Writer
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