List Archive: gentoo-doc
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On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, Josh wrote:
> PS: Though the very idea of an "in-print" Gentoo book is in many ways absurd, as
> Gentoo is unique among Linux distros for its generally faster-paced, evolving
> nature, these draft handbooks present the best possible approach to actually
> publishing a "dead tree" Gentoo guide--something that would be a first for the
> distro, AFAIK. Given Gentoo's rapidly changing nature (e.g. fundamental pieces
> like Portage and baselayout), the need for a paper Gentoo book might seem
> obviated. But I'm strangely attracted to the idea. It seems more doable now that
> the draft handbooks have less of a specific Gentoo emphasis. I'd certainly be
> interested in seeing Gentoo documentation in print!
Over a year ago, I worked on writing some style sheets that could be used
with xsltproc to convert the GuideXML documents to LyX format. Then I did
various editing and formatting to work on a print format. (It is a lot of
work to convert to a book format; the GuideXML is great for HTML and web
I also heard from someone who also was working on making the handbook into
a print format. But now that over a year has passed, I guess not.
One problem I had was that the content (at that time) was constantly
changing. It was too time consuming for me to merge in my changes,
regenerate the LyX from the GuideXML each time (especially since that
would mean losing my later changes), or manually editing both my LyX files
and my copies of the orginal GuideXML files.
A couple things that would help me:
- have a consistent release of the handbook to base it on (like 2005.1);
and have a freeze period where I know the handbook would not be updated
(except for critical fixes). Then plan for that, such as the print book
will be available (already printed) for 2006.2 (second quarter) by April
- access to real CVS, so I don't have to use web-based CVS or tarballs to
merge changes. (Is there publically-available anonymous cvs yet?)
It would be good to survey to see if there is a potential market. Do we
know at least 100 people would purchase the book? 1000 people? Since
Gentoo already has a defined community, this would be easy to find out.
Another thing to consider is to make a list of concepts or objectives
publically available from the LPI and the BSD Certification Group
(ignoring the BSD specific) to see if any "important" areas are missing
from the Gentoo (to-be) printed book.
Jeremy C. Reed
technical support & remote administration
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