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Re: Debian Reference


On Sat, Sep 17, 2005 at 02:41:43PM +0100, Antony Gelberg wrote:
> I have been taking a lot of interest in the Reference recently, as a
> result of time on d-u and #debian, and seeing where we fall short from
> a documentation point of view.

Thank you for filing bug #325777.  We appreciate this kind of feed back
on a details which I overlooked. 

Next time, please file your bug to deabian-reference as the package name
so Frans will not be bothered by your bug report. You may want to read
documentation at bugs.debian.org for how our bug sustem works.

As for the quality of the DR document, I am keenly aware of the issues.
I just do not have time to do updates as much as I wish.  Also I do not
have good writing skill in English as a non-native English user.  So I
appreciate help in this respect. (I have been helped by others but they
are also quite busy these days.)

> Before I get too involved however, can somebody give me a guide as to 
> how the Reference is looked upon from within Debian?  

In my honest opinion, most of the DD are busy with thier own packages,
few took time to read DR in details, or at all,  to find minor issues
which was caused by the migration of packages with time.  Besides, they
have good post-installation skill, they do not need to learn from this.

If you want to get interest level on Documentation itself, you may want
to read debian-doc archive. 

> I don't particuarly want to dive in if it's a dead duck.  

If we find a live duck, I think DDP will switch Debian Reference to that
new duck. 

> It seems to me that it is the closest thing that we have to a distro
> manual, and contains lots of useful pointers, but suffers from lack of
> visibility and lack of structure.

Your observation is somewhat correct.  I think user oriented
distribution manual is collection of documents now.  See list on
http://www.debian.org/doc .

I have few suggestions and comment.

 * please check out archive of debian-doc mailing list.
 * please think ways to improve this situation as a volunteer project.
   (i.e., few has time to work on issues you think is the most important
   and they have their own priorities.  You can dictate only your time
   and efforts.)
 * Please bring live duck to us.  It is easy to complain but providing
   something positive with minimal efforts of the others requires a
   lot of time and efforts of yours.  Here are my wishlist:
     - Be kind to the people who contributed their time to the project.
     - Report bug with a patch to SGML source.
     - Think translation syncing (I need patch for all languages to update)
     - Keeping CVS and web up in shape.
     - Help ensure functioning TeTeX international build environment 
       in pbuilder
     - Help SGML(traditiional encodings) to XML(UTF-8) transition efforts.

Whenever I find a person who gives us solid patch to the document, I
gave CVS access to the document and worked with the person to improve
DR.  Complete reorganization can be done in the branch.  Once it become
presentable, we can switch to it.  That is the beauty of using CVS-like
system.  But I think if we do this, we should also change file format to
XML in UTF-8 encoding. 

I hope you will be the one of those who lead next iteration of DR.



PS: I am a bit behind these days due to time constrain.

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