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27 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">13</td>
28 </tr>
29 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Providing the users with a Gentoo Handbook</td>
30 </tr>
31 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.2</td>
32 </tr>
33 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0013.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2004/10/26 00:21:28</a></td>
34 </tr>
35 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Sven Vermeulen &lt;swift&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;</td>
36 </tr>
37 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Final</td>
38 </tr>
39 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
40 </tr>
41 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
42 </tr>
43 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">15 Aug 2003</td>
44 </tr>
45 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">19-Aug-2003 25-Oct-2004</td>
46 </tr>
47 </tbody>
48 </table>
49 <hr />
50 <div class="contents topic">
51 <p class="topic-title first"><a id="contents" name="contents">Contents</a></p>
52 <ul class="simple">
53 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id9" name="id9">Abstract</a></li>
54 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id10" name="id10">Motivation</a></li>
55 <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id11" name="id11">Rationale</a></li>
56 <li><a class="reference" href="#implementation" id="id12" name="id12">Implementation</a><ul>
57 <li><a class="reference" href="#extending-guidexml" id="id13" name="id13">Extending GuideXML</a></li>
58 <li><a class="reference" href="#installation-instructions" id="id14" name="id14">Installation Instructions</a></li>
59 <li><a class="reference" href="#system-administration" id="id15" name="id15">System Administration</a></li>
60 <li><a class="reference" href="#gentoo-development" id="id16" name="id16">Gentoo Development</a></li>
61 <li><a class="reference" href="#user-applications" id="id17" name="id17">User Applications</a></li>
62 </ul>
63 </li>
64 <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id18" name="id18">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
65 <li><a class="reference" href="#reference-implementation" id="id19" name="id19">Reference Implementation</a></li>
66 <li><a class="reference" href="#references" id="id20" name="id20">References</a></li>
67 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id21" name="id21">Copyright</a></li>
68 </ul>
69 </div>
70 <div class="section">
71 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id9" id="abstract" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
72 <p>This GLEP provides a vision on the evolution of the Gentoo Documentation,
73 namely a handbook-like document that provides its readers documentation about
74 every aspect of the Gentoo distribution: installation, administration,
75 application usage, development etc.</p>
76 </div>
77 <div class="section">
78 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id10" id="motivation" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
79 <p>Gentoo's current Installation Guide <a class="footnote-reference" href="#instguide" id="id1" name="id1">[1]</a> is rapidly growing, being
80 extended with more and more features that the Gentoo users can help with their
81 quest for the perfect installation. This increase is needed and a Good Thing,
82 but it makes the guide less easy to read or use as reference.</p>
83 <p>There is no reason whatsoever that this evolution will stagnate, on the
84 contrary: people start asking why the Alternative Installation Guide
85 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#altinst" id="id2" name="id2">[2]</a> isn't merged into the Gentoo Installation Guide, or why the
86 platform-specific installation guides can't be merged as they all use the same
87 steps (with a few differences). I myself even hope to merge our LVM Guide
88 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#lvm" id="id3" name="id3">[3]</a> into the Installation Guide as I believe several of our users would
89 love to use LVM on their machines, but currently don't because they don't know
90 how handy and easy it is -- you all know this feeling :)</p>
91 </div>
92 <div class="section">
93 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id11" id="rationale" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
94 <p>To address the beforementioned problem, there are two ideas:</p>
95 <ul class="simple">
96 <li>Split the Installation Guide into several independent guides. For instance,
97 we can move the information regarding the kernelconfiguration into the
98 Kernel Guide, create a partitioning-howto that decribes the fdisk (and
99 possibly others) steps users need to go through, etc.</li>
100 <li>Merge all information into one Big Handbook. This is ofcourse an idea that
101 we borrow from our FreeBSD friends <a class="footnote-reference" href="#fbsdhandbook" id="id4" name="id4">[4]</a> who already have an
102 extensive handbook related to their BSD-distribution.</li>
103 </ul>
104 <p>It is this second idea that this GLEP describes.</p>
105 <p>This handbook-idea doesn't decrease the installation instructions, on the
106 contrary, it extends them. However, by choosing a multiple-page handbook-like
107 document, our users receive a fully integrated document that embraces
108 everything he or she wants to know. It will also make it more easy to provide
109 printable documentation (in PDF or other form) without loosing the comfort of
110 having the installation documents online and on the LiveCDs.</p>
111 </div>
112 <div class="section">
113 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id12" id="implementation" name="implementation">Implementation</a></h1>
114 <p>To implement such a handbook, the Gentoo Documentation Project <a class="footnote-reference" href="#gdp" id="id5" name="id5">[5]</a> needs a
115 rewritten stylesheet for its GuideXML <a class="footnote-reference" href="#guidexml" id="id6" name="id6">[6]</a> format. Since there are no
116 problems with GuideXML itself, and since it is very flexible in its use, the
117 recommendation to stick with GuideXML is clear. We do need some extra features
118 in GuideXML, without breaking the current GuideXML implementation.</p>
119 <p>This last thing is important, since implementing this handbook-like document
120 should be done parallel to the development of our current documentation:
121 developing the Gentoo Handbook takes a long time and we don't want to force
122 our users to use a non-usable document.</p>
123 <p>After improving the GuideXML format, the first things that need to be
124 addressed are the installation instructions. They should be merged with other,
125 existing guides that inform the user with installation-specific items (such as
126 the Aternative Installation Guide, LVM Guide, Platform-specific Installation
127 Guides, etc.</p>
128 <p>Other chapters that need to be put in place are:</p>
129 <ul class="simple">
130 <li>A chapter on Gentoo Development, which embraces all current
131 development-specific guides, such as the Gentoo Developer HOWTO, the Gentoo
132 Policy, the Ebuild HOWTO, the Eclass HOWTO, etc. This has already been
133 frequently asked by the Gentoo ebuild maintainers and several other Gentoo
134 Developers.</li>
135 <li>A chapter specific to System Administration, such as Mailserver
136 Administration, User Administration, Printing Administration etc. We already
137 have several guides that describe parts of these items.</li>
138 <li>A chapter specific to Gentoo Usage, including our popular Desktop
139 Configuration Guide <a class="footnote-reference" href="#desktop" id="id7" name="id7">[7]</a> and several Application-specific guides.</li>
140 </ul>
141 <p>The following sections describe these steps more in detail...</p>
142 <div class="section">
143 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id13" id="extending-guidexml" name="extending-guidexml">Extending GuideXML</a></h2>
144 <p>The GuideXML format should be extended with the following items:</p>
145 <ul class="simple">
146 <li>More depth regarding information-divisions.</li>
147 <li>&quot;Including&quot; external sourcecode</li>
148 <li>Easier in-document references</li>
149 </ul>
150 <p>Our current GuideXML format provides us the following depth regarding
151 information-division:</p>
152 <pre class="literal-block">
153 &lt;guide&gt;
154 &lt;chapter&gt;
155 &lt;section&gt;
156 </pre>
157 <p>The <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;guide&gt;</span></tt> tag is currently a one-time tag: it defines the start of the
158 guide, and ofcourse the guide ends with <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;/guide&gt;</span></tt>.
159 The <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;chapter&gt;</span></tt> tag divides the document into seperate chapters. However,
160 most of our documents have small chapters, whereas normal books and documents
161 have chapters that encompasses several pages.
162 The <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;section&gt;</span></tt> tag further divides the chapter in which it resides.</p>
163 <p>This means that our current installation guides have a division-depth of 2:
164 you can define a chapter, and in that chapter make subdivisions with
165 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;section&gt;</span></tt>. This is however insufficient for a handbook-like document. To
166 improve the GuideXML, we can add <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;subsection&gt;</span></tt> and, if needed,
167 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;subsubsection&gt;</span></tt>, based on LaTeX's divisions.</p>
168 <p>Another requisite is to be able to include external documents. Without this
169 possibility, maintaining the handbook would be cumbersome to say the least.
170 XSLT (which is used to process the GuideXML files) can easily provide this, so
171 there are no specific needs to include this feature.</p>
172 <p>A possible tag would be <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;include</span> <span class="pre">file=&quot;foobar.xml&quot;</span> <span class="pre">/&gt;</span></tt>.</p>
173 <p>With such a division, we could have each chapter inside its own document,
174 making maintenance far more easy.</p>
175 <p>The final implementation is in-document references. Currently, the Gentoo
176 Documentation Developers have so guess in what chapter a certain section
177 resides, and what section we are actually discussing: <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">#doc_chap4_sect3</span></tt>
178 provides us with a link to chapter 4, section 3. This is a workable
179 implementation for small documents, but impossible for handbooks.</p>
180 <p>Implementing a more HTML-alike reference inside the division-tags would be
181 preferable: <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;chapter</span> <span class="pre">name=&quot;installation&quot;&gt;</span></tt>, <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">&lt;section</span>
182 <span class="pre">name=&quot;partitioning&quot;&gt;</span></tt> etc. Refering would then be <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">#installation</span></tt> and
183 <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">#partitioning</span></tt> respectively.</p>
184 </div>
185 <div class="section">
186 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id14" id="installation-instructions" name="installation-instructions">Installation Instructions</a></h2>
187 <p>The first real chapter (after some introduction) would be one about the Gentoo
188 Installation. This chapter could then include all information regarding
189 alternative installation instructions, architecture specific instructions,
190 partitioning schemes, RAID installations and more without continuously
191 referring to other sections throughout the handbook.</p>
192 <p>In other words, a user that wants to install Gentoo Linux on his SPARC with
193 ATA RAID should be able to do so following the instructions in the chapter
194 <em>without</em> having to go forth and back between several pages. Creating such a
195 chapter is not that easy just because we don't want our users to be sent from
196 left to right and over again.</p>
197 <p>Developing this chapter should be done in parallel with the development of the
198 current guides (who still have a higher priority since these are still the
199 official installation instructions as long as the chapter in the handbook
200 isn't finished and reviewed for accuracy).</p>
201 </div>
202 <div class="section">
203 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id15" id="system-administration" name="system-administration">System Administration</a></h2>
204 <p>This chapter, which bases its content on an existing base installation of
205 Gentoo, described in the previous chapter, contains sections for several
206 important administration items. This is a chapter that currently doesn't have
207 many affected guides, but is very important to make Gentoo work (and be
208 documented) in server-environments.</p>
209 <p>The sections contain information on, but not limited to:</p>
210 <pre class="literal-block">
211 - Software Administration
213 - User Administration
215 - Mail Administration
217 - Print Services
219 - Network Administration
221 - Storage Management
223 - Security
225 - Clustering
226 </pre>
227 </div>
228 <div class="section">
229 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id16" id="gentoo-development" name="gentoo-development">Gentoo Development</a></h2>
230 <p>As previously explained, this chapter would contain all the information needed
231 to help the Gentoo development. It would embrace all the current existing
232 guides regarding Ebuild and Eclass development, Stage Creation, Gentoo Policy
233 etc.</p>
234 </div>
235 <div class="section">
236 <h2><a class="toc-backref" href="#id17" id="user-applications" name="user-applications">User Applications</a></h2>
237 <p>Whereas the System Administration chapter contains the information on how to
238 install software and services (such as XFree), this chapter would contain
239 information for the users (not the administrators) on how they can use
240 software installed by the system administrator.</p>
241 <p>Gentoo currently has several guides that describe such user applications
242 <a class="footnote-reference" href="#gendoc" id="id8" name="id8">[8]</a> and it seems that these are guides that our users really
243 appreciate, so neglecting them would be signing our own death wish :)</p>
244 <p>Due to the nature of these documents, the User Applications chapter will exist
245 of independent sections.</p>
246 </div>
247 </div>
248 <div class="section">
249 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id18" id="backwards-compatibility" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
250 <p>By making only small changes (actually extending) the GuideXML format, it is
251 possible (and even adviseable) to develop each chapter on its own parallel
252 with the guides that are involved.</p>
253 <p>By developing the handbook in a subdirectory of the current documentation
254 directory (for instance <tt class="docutils literal"><span class="pre">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook</span></tt>) we maintain
255 the current documentation. When a chapter on the handbook is finished, the
256 involved documents can contain a big note on top, declaring that they are now
257 obsoleted by the handbook's chapter.</p>
258 <p>However, note that this handbook does <strong>not</strong> and will <strong>not</strong> embrace all
259 documents that the Gentoo Documentation Project produces. It is very likely
260 that there are guides that don't have a clear position inside this handbook.
261 Instead of forcing the guide somewhere, we should leave the guide as a
262 stand-alone document.</p>
263 </div>
264 <div class="section">
265 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id19" id="reference-implementation" name="reference-implementation">Reference Implementation</a></h1>
266 <p>This is a possible roadmap for the Gentoo Handbook:</p>
267 <pre class="literal-block">
268 - Improve the GuideXML format, possibly creating a handbook.xsl stylesheet
269 (and leave the guide.xsl as it is now).
271 - Implement the Installation Instructions
273 - Develop a consistent layout, keeping the guides that are to be implemented
274 in mind.
276 - Include all referenced guides. Do *not* extend it yet.
278 - Review the installation instructions and make them official
280 - Extend at will :)
282 - Implement the Gentoo Development Instructions
284 - Implement the User Application Instructions
286 - Implement the System Administration Instructions
287 </pre>
288 </div>
289 <div class="section">
290 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id20" id="references" name="references">References</a></h1>
291 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="instguide" rules="none">
292 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
293 <tbody valign="top">
294 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id1" name="instguide">[1]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gentoo-x86-install.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/gentoo-x86-install.xml</a></td></tr>
295 </tbody>
296 </table>
297 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="altinst" rules="none">
298 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
299 <tbody valign="top">
300 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id2" name="altinst">[2]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/altinstall.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/altinstall.xml</a></td></tr>
301 </tbody>
302 </table>
303 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="lvm" rules="none">
304 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
305 <tbody valign="top">
306 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id3" name="lvm">[3]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/lvm.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/lvm.xml</a></td></tr>
307 </tbody>
308 </table>
309 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="fbsdhandbook" rules="none">
310 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
311 <tbody valign="top">
312 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id4" name="fbsdhandbook">[4]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/index.html">http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/index.html</a></td></tr>
313 </tbody>
314 </table>
315 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="gdp" rules="none">
316 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
317 <tbody valign="top">
318 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id5" name="gdp">[5]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/gdp">http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/gdp</a></td></tr>
319 </tbody>
320 </table>
321 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="guidexml" rules="none">
322 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
323 <tbody valign="top">
324 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id6" name="guidexml">[6]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xml-guide.xml</a></td></tr>
325 </tbody>
326 </table>
327 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="desktop" rules="none">
328 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
329 <tbody valign="top">
330 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id7" name="desktop">[7]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/desktop.xml">http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/desktop.xml</a></td></tr>
331 </tbody>
332 </table>
333 <table class="docutils footnote" frame="void" id="gendoc" rules="none">
334 <colgroup><col class="label" /><col /></colgroup>
335 <tbody valign="top">
336 <tr><td class="label"><a class="fn-backref" href="#id8" name="gendoc">[8]</a></td><td><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/docs.xml#doc_chap1_sect5">http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/docs.xml#doc_chap1_sect5</a></td></tr>
337 </tbody>
338 </table>
339 </div>
340 <div class="section">
341 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id21" id="copyright" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
342 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
343 </div>
345 </div>
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347 <hr class="footer" />
348 <a class="reference" href="glep-0013.txt">View document source</a>.
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