This is only a first draft proposition page, only for discussion purpose, it does not represent any LDP position as of September 2008. This is still true as of April 2009, however most of what is said here have been accepted and is in the way of achievement.

Updated May 15, 2009

To LDP members: This page is here for You. Do not hesitate to modify or add to it. Discussion can be done on the /discussion page

Manifesto for 2010

LDP is on the way to change. It must change but in a reasonable manner and not too much nor too little. Here are some thoughts, ideas and a proposed calendar.

Situation, problems and solutions

The LDP is probably the first worldwide effort to document Linux as a whole (the LDP includes Man pages). The aim is to:

All of these feature must be retained. They are the reason why the LDP is probably the better referenced doc on the search engines.

However the time when the LDP was the only documentation source is over. Now authors are solicited by a great number of web sites, beginning with the Linux Distributions own web sites and many others.

Most of these sites uses CMS, usually wikis, to maintain their documentation.

Each kind of system have it's drawbacks and advantages.

The present LDP system (CVS, docbook->html) is stable, well defined, but requires author collaboration. Being dated, it can be easily seen as obsolete, even when it's not. Of course it may be obsolete!

The wiki system is easy to use and keep alive, but extremely difficult to keep consistent and organised. Most people use search engines to browse a wiki, not the wiki tables. Authors are many, not necessarily competent and contents can be pretty ugly and difficult to understand. Translation of wikis is a nightmare.

However, the wiki system allows for interactive collaboration and can be extremely effective.

So we need to have the best of the two worlds. That is what we are trying to achieve.

This won't be done overnight, it will be a lot of work but will be worth the result.

We need to have a stable, dated, author driven, but also interactive system. This will be achieved by synergy.


We have two different tasks.

The first part is mostly technical, but we can't really ask the public for help before we have something appealing to show them. It would be nice if this could be achieved before the fall of 2008! January 2009: LDP site ready to work.

The second part is long term work, nearly endless, but it should be nearly up and working for the fall of 2009: January 2010, LDP running with full power.

Layout of the new LDP.



Examples of such tasks are:

Writing documents

Documents have to be stored as docbook, but authors should not have to write in docbook if they don't want to. Linuxdoc is an option, but the wiki is probably much better.

However, writing in a wiki risks having an ill formatted document, very difficult to read. So we must use the very handy moimoin feature of proposing a template for any new page creation, we have to write ourselves some LDP templates.

There must be a system to allow authors to manage their doc like they want, with some limitations.

  1. we may have to think again about the license. The very nature of the wiki should make us ask for a compatible license (may be the boiler plate one is good, but this have to be secured) DONE;

  2. A competent and active author must be allowed to keep control of his HOWTO, at any level. This means he must be allowed to submit it through the content management system if he wants to or use a locked wiki page. Of course this doesn't mean we have to accept any submission, but some subjects are really picky (technically).
  3. most authors should be encouraged to drop their HOWTO in a wiki page. It could be a good idea to have on the ldp web site a copy of the html<->whatever translating page to make easy any transition. Done

  4. we have Volunteers. May be we could try to find some to enhance the moinmoin<->docbook interface, eventually working with the moinmoin team. Works reasonably well.

  5. We could have an instance of the docbookwiki running, privately, for authors help (this wiki is not suitable for general use). We could try to help the author and build some compatibility between moinmoin and docbookwiki.

Stable content system

We have to setup a content management system for holding the static web site content. We can't allow too many people to write directly to web pages while logged in through ssh! cvs is good but svn can be better. Is there any modern system to be preferred?

LDP members

We have to manage some sort of LDP membership to catch people attention. There is work to be done out of the authorship. We can basically say that Is member of the LDP any people than feels so. Membership must be an obvious, immediate feeling. But any kind of gadget that could enhance the membership feeling is good. may be give a "" e-mail redirection??? List on a wiki page is probably mandatory...


We have to think of a way to manage translations

draft01 (last edited 2014-04-12 11:19:53 by Jack Ditchburn)