O'Reilly Network: Open Source Convention Report: Open Documentation Summit
Jul 17, 2000, 23:48 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frank Willison)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
[ Thanks to Carmel
Noah for this link. ]
"The goal of this meeting was to gather together those people
who are interested in finding a way to improve the documentation
that accompanies open source software. Some of the issues involved
are controversial and have generated friction among various camps
in the Open Source development community and publishers.
Representatives of all the camps were invited to the summit. Lots
of open source documentation groups participated: the Linux
Documentation Project, GNOME, KDE, FreeBSD, BSDI, SourceForge,
Samba, OASIS, Los Alamos National Labs, Python, and Open Content.
Naturally, all the O'Reilly Open Source and XML editors filled the
remaining chairs. Controversy at the summit, however, was
constructive and minimal."
"The major conclusion reached by attendees was to
standardize on DocBook/XML as the canonical format for open source
documentation. The role of DocBook, however, is to be the storage
and exchange format. Different projects will use it in
different ways, but all will provide some form of their documents
in a standard DocBook format."
"There really wasn't another solution to consider. Even the Free
Software Foundation is working on converting documents in TeXinfo,
their current format, to SGML. Most commercial documentation
projects use proprietary products like Word or Frame that are just
inappropriate for Open Source projects. Furthermore, they and other
formatting alternatives lack the expressive richness of DocBook.
One of the key characteristics of any Open Source solution is that
it has to be able to express every important distinction across
many environments, technologies, formats, and languages."