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Re: Debian Documentation: Debian Dictionary

Lyno Sullivan wrote:
  >I am willing to volunteer to help with this, as a learning task, provided
  >that I can understand the process. 

Thank you.

  >                     If I have to create an SGML file now I
  >am in trouble.  If I can gather definitions and put them into an HTML file
  >then I will be OK.

Please do use SGML; the best way, I think, is to use PSGML with emacs
(it's included in xemacs) and pick choices off the menu in SGML-mode.
This means you are pretty well certain to produce valid SGML.  Just
download the CVS tree and use make to generate HTML.

If you use HTML, someone will have to go back and convert it.
  >I began by wondering, would it be possible, or even sensible, to use the
  >FAQ-o-matic approach that would let people add definitions via the web?


  >Putting all this together and we start to get a very big file.  If the file
  >gets too big people won't have the patience to download it, to lookup a
  >simple word.  That got me to thinking that one file wasn't a smart way to go
The current skeleton of the dictionary splits it up by letter, and each
letter could have a separate HTML file generated.


  >By the time I made it through my thinking, I ended up thinking we should
  >create a Dictionary Item Template HTML file and ask people to complete them
  >and send them in. 

I agree

  >         When I think about the process issues, I imagine that
  >CVS is the best place to store the definitions, so people don't overlay one
  >another.  CVS is well beyond my abilities at this time but I can easily
  >email HTML definition snippets to debian-dict@lists.debian.org or some
  >similar input point.

It's pretty simple.  You would have to add each file as you created it, but
thereafter they can be updated recursively with a single command.
[... about the encyclopaedia concept ...]

  >But, given all that I saw, I am still unsure that I didn't make some really
  >fundamental error along the way.  I will be interested in the feedback.
  >Does any of this make sense?

The idea does; I can't visualise an implementation.
  >I believe Debian needs a Dictionary where all the definitions are GPL'd (or
  >LGPL'd if we want to support mixing with non-copyleft'd definitions).  I am
  >uncomfortable supporting any copyleft license that is not listed on the
  >"What Is Copyleft?" <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/copyleft.html>.  I chose
  >Debian GNU/Linux above all other releases, specifically for this reason.

On the HTML submission form, state that all contributions will be liable
to editing and will be copylefted; and that submission of an entry
means accepting this automatically. 

Oliver Elphick                                Oliver.Elphick@lfix.co.uk
Isle of Wight                              http://www.lfix.co.uk/oliver
               PGP key from public servers; key ID 32B8FAA1
     "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not
      of yourselves. It is the gift of God; not of works, 
      lest any man should boast."    Ephesians 2:8,9 

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