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Re: Ubuntu Support and Learning Center


This is some really valuable information Jim, thankyou very much.

On Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 1:13 PM, Jim Campbell <jwcampbell@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi All,
> I wanted to make a couple of suggestions for the Ubuntu Support and
> Learning Center.  For a web-only project, I'd recommend taking a close look
> at the Mozilla Sumo project.  The Mozilla instance is available at
> http://support.mozilla.com, and the source / build instructions are
> available through the wiki: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Support:Sumodev
> That is a web-only solution, though.  No outputs to PDF, no desktop manual,
> no automated translation tool support (though the site does support
> translations).  From some of the discussions from the IRC meeting logs it
> sounds like something that you would at least want to look at for feature
> ideas, if not using it as a base.
> An alternate approach would be more involved, but I think is interesting in
> the long-run.  It may be something that would work, given that you noted you
> would be looking to get the giant content pool available after the Maverick
> release.  It would involve use of DITA, an XML-based syntax that was
> designed to create "content pools."  The group may not be so keen on
> authoring an XML-based syntax, but the open-source Serna XML editor was just
> packaged for Debian Sid, and it allows writers to write w/o having to code
> the syntax itself.
> The advanced features of DITA are not simple, but I don't think any
> "content pool," is going to be easy.  You can skim through this pdf (
> http://www.marklogic-news.com/images/MarkLogic_Flatirons_07_Using_DITA.pdf) to get a long-range picture of what DITA could allow you to do, though.
> Put succinctly, DITA content is made up of topic chunks, roughly split out
> into "concepts," (what is Ubuntu, and how is it different from Kubuntu and
> Xubuntu?), "tasks" (How do I set up a VPN connection?), and reference topics
> (typically command syntax examples, programming instructions, and other
> reference material - would be good for server-related content.).  DITA Maps
> are used to string all of the content together - you can use the maps to
> cherry-pick from the content pool, and put some topics together for a
> quick-start guide, some for a manual, some for server docs, etc.
> As a note, DITA can output to pdf, html, epub, docbook, and other formats.
> (Shaun McCance from the Gnome doc team presented to the DITA help committee,
> and they even said they would look to produce Mallard output from DITA
> content.)  OpenSUSE is the only distro that currently packages DITA.  I'll
> say again that it is not a simple syntax, and even using the editor is not
> super-simple.  I think that creating content pools will require thought and
> planning initially, but will pay off for Ubuntu documentation in the
> long-run.
> Here's the wikipedia page for this.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_Information_Typing_Architecture
> Sorry if this is really long, but I wanted to get these things out there
> before things got too finalized.  I hope this is helpful!
> Jim
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Benjamin Humphrey