Authoring a document for the LDP is a several steps process.

Have an idea

It's much easier thant most people think. If you find a man page difficult to understand, an already written HOWTO obsolete or you find yourself writing hints on configuring your favorite mail agent, you are ready to go to the second step :-).

Have the knowledge

There are two situations dealing with usefull results.

You are already an expert in some part of the Linux World, and you want to share your expertise. This may simply mean you are a student and made a white paper or a thesis about the subject and nobody else did wonder to write on the subject for some years.

Or your are a complete newbie (newcommer) on this aspect of Linux (for example setup a Kerberos server on a new computer), and you don't think the already available documentation is really friendly. As long as the document is clearly quoted, your experience is very interesting. Experts have often forgotten what they did initially. Writing down the beginners problem may be invaluable for the other beginners. Write a "Kerberos for beginners HOWTO" (just an example).

Choose a Licence

You have to choose a licence. Most authors stopos maintaining they document after some years, for a variety of reason, and we need to know what we can do of the doc ATM (At This Moment). Look here.

Write the document

Write a well organised document is a challenge. It's very difficult. Most of the time it mean writing it in he's mind and dream on it. When you can't sleep because the document runs in your head, get up and write it down on a paper.

Write it on a paper first, or on your favourite word processor. Chance is you will have to rewrite it often before being glad about the result.

Write the final document

You have to think that your document will not be read by your audience in the form you write it. The LDP will spread this document all over the world. There, many, many people will see it. Any of them have a different configuration. Some don't have computers at all and need paper hard copies. Some have very large screen and can see on screen news paper large documents. Some have color, but most don't, or can't print with colors.

So your document have to be in source form. The prefered source form of the LDP is Docbook, because we have scripts that can copy this source to a great number of formats. See the HOWTO page of the Web site for examples of these formats, but many people download our source format to convert it themselve in even more final formats. If you can write Docbook, the LDP Author guide is a very good starting point.

If you can write directly with docbook markups, so good! But if you can't, dont worry, there are other solutions.


Creating-a-Document (last edited 2009-03-15 08:27:43 by jdd)