Content review needed (October 3, 2008) jdd
Editing LDP Documents HOWTO, copyright Linux Documentation Project 2008
Revision history list change only for major upates
Revision v0.1 2008-10-03 - Revised by: jdd
The LDP wiki is aimed to allow easy editing of its held documents. Editing must follow some basic rules that are explained here. This document explains principles and not syntax.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
Document edits fall into several categories. This document sorts them into three: new documents, small scattered edits and important ones like adding a paragraph. New documents are discussed in the WikiAuthorGuide.
Small Scattered Edits
Any LDP document may be edited by a connected (logged in) wiki user. If the top menu says "immutable page", you are not allowed to modify it.
In all other cases, edit what you think necessary. You don't have to ask for permission, but ensure your fix is good and appropriate.
This is mostly the case for spelling and typographic errors. Many LDP authors are not English natives and so their spelling ability is not as good as they would like it and they will thank you fixing their mistakes.
Although most of our authors are computer addicts, their ability to use a keyboard in some stressful conditions (writing a HOWTO can be very stressful ) is not so good. Typos are frequent. Fixing them is very usefull , Thank you for doing so (including this document .
Most of the people writing in English, including most HOWTO authors, do not know proper English syntax and grammar. That is, most authors only have a simple command of the English language. We urge authors to write clearly about their subjects and focus on their documents' content, with language style being a secondary concern. Having documents written in good English is, of course, much better. If you can help in this respect, again we thank you.
Be very careful to preserve a sentence's meaning when trying to fix a grammatical problem. If you are unsure about some meaning, don't hesitate to write the author (however, the author may not be able to respond quickly).
Subscribing to the discuss list and asking your question there is the best thing to do.
The Usual Way
Importants edits are doubly important: by the content and by the volume. You should not make such an edit without trying to contact the author or, at least, the discuss list.
Important edits make you a co-author of the document. You may (or may not) wish to have your name associated with the document. However, licence changes can't be done without express consent from the original author (and keeping all the previous credits). Using a different licence on only a part of the doc is strongly discouraged.
Don't forget that other users can undo what you did, but currently the author chooses whether to keep or reject any modification.
This is not to prevent you from doing important edits, on the contrary, it's done to make sure your work is acknowledged and used fully in the future.
If you don't agree with the author on some technical point and can't have him include several points of view in the document, you still have options.
Explain the problem on the discuss list. If it's really a technical problem, it's very likely that a solution will be found. If there are two equally good solutions and the original author doesn't want to include yours in the doc, you still can write your own HOWTO with only your solution.
The whole LDP membership, through the discuss list, can solve any conflict. This may be difficult, long or unpleasant, but there is always a solution. Be assured that your case will be studied very closely and taken seriously. No LDP author has more personal value than any other, but, of course, technical expertise has its value.
The same thing happens if the author is no longer reachable, but the licence allows modification. You can ask the LDP through the discuss list to be the new maintainer or author or simply to do the change. The LDP gladly welcomes new authors!
We have some documents that nobody but the author may modify and the author is no longer reachable. These documents may not already be in the wiki but in the HOWTO static list. If you can add valuably to the document, as always, ask the discuss list. The more obvious solution is to open a new wiki page with a new name and rewriting the document completely without copying the old one. For smaller changes, you can link to the old document from the beginning of the new one and write the new part. You can make small citations out of the original document, but not only copy and amplify it.
You can also, if the HOWTO is in the wiki, use the "Discussion" page to comment on the document (if there is no Discussion page, ask for one on the discuss list) The rule is that the new documents can't be seen as a simple derivative work of the old one.
The author of this HOWTO is Jean-Daniel Dodin (jdd). I can be reached at My masqued e-mail or simply searching "Jean-Daniel Dodin" on Google :-). However, this is done on the behalf of the LDP so the copyright is owned by the LDP, not by Jean-Daniel Dodin.
My Web site is at [http://www.dodin.net].
Most recent version
The most recent version of this mini-HOWTO will be found on the tldp wiki