Linux Documentation Project news: The LDP is about to start publishing HOWTOs to comp.os.linux.answers as soon as the moderator replies. Since the total volume of HOWTOs in ascii format exceeds 5 MB it is no longer feasible to broadcast all regularly, instead the index will be published regularly and recently updated HOWTOs will be published in full.

HOWTOs are written in SGML which makes conversions to all sorts of formats possible, from plain text to HTML and from single copies to entire books of collections of documents. In addition SGML makes more advanced searching possible, document integration and more. The LDP has not tapped this potential yet but work is underway now. Some long standing bugs in the LinuxDoc tools are also in the process of being fixed.

The LDP has to cater to all links in the chain that connects the authors to the readers and much work is now underway to ease this process and be more user friendly to each part.

The old HOWTO-HOWTO has been thorougly reworked into the new LDP Author Guide (LAG) and also a Template has been written not only to give you the authors out there an idea of structure and contents of a HOWTO with sample text but also the SGML source is commented, showing how to make lists, tables etc and ready for replacing with your own text. This template is in DocBook DTD but is also available in the older LinuxDoc DTD ( HTML, SGML)

Distribution makers
Unfortunately there are many archives and distributions using old, unupdated LDP archives, probably due to the work involved in packaging the archive into a form usable for the various distributions. While the LDP does not wish to create .deb or .rpm packages, plans are underway to create scripts that makes it simple to select documents, formats, languages and more and then make the package just in time with the very latest sets of documents.

The readers are the end users of the LDP works, a group that is very wide spanning in background and skills. Serving everyone will not be easy but the aforementioned template is hopefully a start, having a pedagogic angle too. It is also important to get more feedback, not just from experts but also from interested novices in order to ensure the documentation is clear.

There has been a minor controversy over what markup to use, the original LinuxDoc DTD, the newer DocBook DTD or perhaps even XML, which made one contributor sum it up as a haiku:

SGML is / confusing for some writers / call it XML

As usual a large number of new and updated documents has just been uploaded so if your collection is more than 6 months old you are recommended to look for updates. Feedback (LWN) is welcome and the LDP also accepts submissions to the links and resources area. Also a number of documents previously available as plain text or HTML only have now been converted to SGML.

Unfortunately there has been a problem with the link submission system, so if your entries have not yet appeared on the Link section please try again.

The LDP keeps an open project list of planned and completed tasks.