This is a combined edition for issues 15, 16 and 17. We also have an interview with the LDP review coordinator Tabatha Marshall.
We received updates for a whole bunch of documents:
This is Tabatha Marshall, TLDP Review Coordinator. She describes herself as the proud mother of three sons, registered Linux user 170785, partly Canadian and Italian, but mostly Geek.
Tabatha volunteers for assigning reviewers to newly submitted documents, and when other volunteers are awed because of the size of a guide, she reviews these herself if necessary. She frequently contributes to discussions on the mailing lists, and while she has a strong opinion of her own, she is always friendly and open to new views.
The Weekly News team had the occasion of asking this marvelous woman a couple of questions.
Q: We did our homework, and read that you started volunteering for TLDP about a year and a half ago, and that you started experimenting with Linux twice as long ago. This leaves us wondering: how do you rise from Linux Newbie to coordinator of one of the main Open Source initiatives in such a short time?
A: "Persistence! (grin)...When I first learned about Linux, I relied on the LDP to learn how to do everything. In early 2002 I decided to jump back into fiction-writing with both feet, and sought volunteer work that would help me hone my skills. I remembered the LDP, and by March 2002 I was reviewing, thanks to the initial help of Joy Goodreau and Dave Merrill. I stayed active, always accepting new documents for review, and in November 2002, Joy asked if I would accept the position of Review Coordinator. I did, and I'm grateful, because I think it's made me a better writer, and a heck of a lot of friends!"
Q: What was the most remarkable event at TLDP while you have been contributing?
A: "You mean besides being offered the position of Review Coordinator? That was MOST exciting for me! Actually, the best thing so far was seeing the pictures from the recent Metz trip. It's wonderful to put faces to the names of the people I work with, and I wish we had pictures of everybody! "
Q: Do you think that you will still be Review Coordinator in 5 years? In 10 years?
A: "Wow, good question! Well, as I mentioned, I recently made a leap of faith with my writing, and my goal is to become America's answer to JK Rowling. I completed my first manuscript on July 15. The novel is a middle-grade/young adult adventure which I plan on developing into a series of books, hopefully extending them to film or television. I'm in the editing stages right now (you can imagine how much I must love that part!), and will begin writing the next book in the fall, when the kids start school."
"In the meantime though, I do plan on continuing my work with the LDP, and I do see myself doing it for some time to come. I believe wholeheartedly that I'm a stronger writer for it, so why stop now? :D "
Q: What do you think is the single most needed improvement for TLDP?
A: "I'll stand my ground and say it would have to be an online editor for authors. It should provide a simple way for authors to choose the version of markup they wish to use, and help them progress through creation of their document in a logical format, based on the LDP documentation templates. Ideally, this system would parse and validate, provide suggestions for errors, and allow for a browser preview no matter how much of the document has been created. "
"Why? Right now there are numerous Linux distributions, various types of markup and output formats, and far too many editing programs that just don't quite cut it for the new user. It is difficult for many people to put the tools together on their machine. This system would encourage more authors to write. Just think - if a new author can create a document online without having to worry about all the other issues, she is able to give much more focus to the content, now isn't she? "
"Though this idea has been brought to the table, there has been some resistance...concerns that this means yet another system to learn. But I believe if it was designed with the author's needs first, it would be valuable to everyone. Dream big!"
And right she is... Read more at http://www.merlinmonroe.com, Tabatha's home site.
A very long and at times tiresome discussion about (1) SCO servers storing the LDP documents with "extra" clauses (2) Who can or can not use TLDP documents dominated the past two weeks. You can read the entire thread here. Summarized, it comes down to this: everybody can read our docs and store them on their servers, in accordance with the license of the document. This includes also people we don't like. Guylhem Aznar said that license violations of the documents released under a free license by the LDP can not be tolerated. He later posted RMS response to SCO use of our documents.
If like Martin A. Brown, you are searching for information on how to do Bibliographies in DocBook XML/SGML, here is a piece of information from Tabatha.
You can help The Linux Documentation Project by:
Please help us create this weekly newsletter. Seen a site putting in a story with a link to the LDP? Completed the translation of any HOWTO? Know of any articles about the LDP published in newspapers or magazines? You can update us by sending in links and information at <email@example.com>.
LDP Weekly News is edited by Machtelt Garrels, Torsten Schlabach and Y Giridhar Appaji Nag with help from several other people.