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Here's a new draft. I've left it an open question as to what format
we accept for Guides but said that we prefer DocBook.
Guylhem wanted to mention that we use low resolution plain text and
HTML since they're suitable for people with old hardware and the
visually impaired. I didn't add that (yet ?) since I'm not sure that
plain text is low resolution. It can be printed with a letter quality
printer with a high resolution of hundreds of dots per inch. HTML is
often displayed proportionally spaced and since it might include high
resolution images, it's not necessarily low resolution either. Did
you mean low bandwidth instead of low resolution?
Of course there's a high-bandwidth problem with images. The reasons
why text and HTML (without images) are more suitable for old
equipment, etc. would take some space to explain. In the interests of
trying to keep the Manifesto short, I omitted it.
Another issue is PDF. It's not a free format. I'm not sure we should
mention it even though we have this format available. So I've
bracketed it with ?? in the draft. Here is some info about it that I
got from the Internet:
* PDF = Portable Document Format
* Acrobat Reader = Adobe's free software for viewing and printing
* Acrobat PDFWriter = Printer driver for making PDF documents
directly. Not free. Available in NU labs.
* Acrobat Distiller = Adobe software for translating PostScript
files into PDF files. Not free. Available in NU labs.
* Acrobat Exchange = Adobe software for modifying PDF files:
adding/deleting pages, etc. Not free. Available in NU labs.
Ghostscript: an alternative to Acrobat. There is a freeware
PostScript interpreter named Ghostscript that allows you to a)
convert PostScript files to PDF files, and b) turn (unencrypted)
PDF files back into PostScript.
by coredog on Saturday June 26, @05:54PM EDT (#222)
So you would have us ditch one proprietary standard for another?
PDF is not an open standard administered by ANSI or ISO. It's
Adobe's to do with what it wills. If you would like the libraries
to create PDF, you have to fork out dough.
I think Stallman published something about PDF but I didn't find it.
DOCUMENT CONVENTIONS (Draft 2 [first was 0] )
We want our documents to be widely accessible, including easy access
by users of old hardware or the visually impaired. Thus we provide
our documents in various formats. These include HTML and plain text.
For high resolution suitable for printed books we provide Postscript
and ?? PDF ?? formats. Authors write in a SGML markup language which
can be converted (by computer) to these formats (and more). For
HOWTOs, authors use either of the SGML languages: LinuxDoc or DocBook.
The XML markup language is similar to SGML and may be used for
DocBook. So what is said about SGML also applies to XML. For DocBook
we currently support versions 3.x and 4.x for SGML and version 4.1.2
for XML. Documents in LinuxDoc or DocBook formats are "source"
You may see what our source formats look like by downloading a HOWTO
(in SGML) from an LDP site. We may accept a HOWTO in just plain text
(or some other format) if we can find someone to manually convert it
Besides being able to convert to various formats, SGML allows one to
label parts of a document to aid in searching and administration. We
recommend transparent source: plain text (easily editable) with an open
format. The SGML we use provides this.
The Guides are generally large, book-sized documents. The preferred
format is now DocBook although we have accepted them in other formats
and may continue to do so.
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