[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Bug#823237: References still made to the LDP

Greetings Tom,

I'm a current volunteer with TLDP.  I and a few others are in the 
process of trying to address some of the problems with the 
collection (age, relevance, browsability).

TLDP has been a fantastic resource over the decades since its 
origins with Matt Welsh, but clearly has fallen into disarray over 
the last few years.

> The Linux Documentation Project [1] is mentioned in Debian's docs and on its
> site, often as the only source of general GNU/Linux docs. 


> As far as I can see, it is largely an outdated resource; floppy disks are
> regularly mentioned, there are links to software tarballs, etc. In fact,
> none of the "most popular Linux documents and manuals" [2] have seen updates
> in the last 13 years, some as many as 20. 

> (And they are 2 clicks from the front page!) 

I have also observed this--it may have been acceptable in 2002 when the
website was last overhauled, but it seems a bit unwieldy today.

I would say that our website is difficult to navigate.  How does one find a
document of interest from TLDP's current web site?  It isn't easy.

> I don't think we are doing anyone a favour by mentioning these.
> I was asked to post alternatives, but many online resources are
> distro-specific. Maybe the ArchWiki [3] could be mentioned? Though IMO it is
> better to have nothing than outdated misinformation.
> [1] http://www.tldp.org/
> [2] https://www.debian.org/doc/ "Manuals for GNU/Linux in general"
> [3] https://wiki.archlinux.org/

I will tell you what's afoot at TLDP since about a year ago:

  * one of our main volunteers who was quietly handling all of the 
    document conversions (manually) finally quit
  * our webmaster/admin remains; but was unfamiliar with the 
    SGML/XML tools used for processing documents
  * I became aware of this when I tried to update one of my 
    documents in early 2016
  * I joined the group as a volunteer (as opposed to a contributor)
    and have been trying to overhaul things and inject a bit of 

I can report the following progress (some from before I joined):

  * TLDP source documents now available in a modern VCS,
  * creation of software to generate PDF, text, single-page and 
    chunked HTML outputs for each accepted source format
  * automation of output generation (using a CI system)
    [though this is working smoothly and currently running, we 
    have not yet thrown the switch to publish these outputs]
  * we added support for Docbook XML 5.x and Asciidoc

Current efforts:

  * submit python-tldp to Debian project
  * prepare update to ldp-docbook-stylesheets

Planned efforts:

  * add redirects on existing documents to the automatically 
    published content (checked out from the main LDP repo)
  * overhaul the website using some sort of static site generator

Once we have gotten to that point, I think we could consider 
ourselves largely revivified.

There is other work that would need to be done:

  * retiring old documents to the archive
  * reviewing new submissions
  * coordinating reviews
  * creating an inventory of our archive
  * license checks on existing documents

Most of these things are discussed on discuss@en.tldp.org.  Both I 
and our longest-standing volunteer who runs the systems are the 
currently active technical contributors, though the mailing list has 
quite a few long-term organizational and technical contributors.

I don't know if any of this changes your mind, since your comment is 
not about the liveliness of the organization (yes, it was moribund), 
but rather about the relevance of the documentation.

Best regards,


P.S.  Thanks to Paul Wise who let me know about your question--I was 
  not subscribed to debian-www.

Martin A. Brown

Reply to: