Open Source word processor.


Spell check program.


An attribute makes available extra information regarding the element on which it appears. The attributes always appear as a name-value pair on the initialization pointers (i.e. the "start tag"). Example of an attribute is id="identification", which gives the attribute id the value identification.

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)

Set of overlay rules that are read by your HTML browser, which uses these rules for doing the display, layout and formatting of the XML-generated HTML file(s). CSS allows for fast changes in look and feel without having to plunge in the HTML file(s).


Helper file for the display and transformation tools, which maps public identifiers and URLs to the local file system.

Concurrent Versions System (CVS)

A common document management system used by the LDP.


An SGML (and XML) application, describing a document format that allows easy management of documentation.


Software package easing XML conversions.

Document Type Definition (DTD)

A group of statements that define element names and their attributes specifying the rules for combinations and sequences. It's the DTD that defines which elements can or cannot be inserted in the given context.


DSSSL stands for Document Style Semantics and Specification Language. It's an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 10179:1996). The DSSSL standard is internationally used as a language for documents style sheets pages for SGML.


The elements describe the content's structure in a document. Most elements contain a start tag, content and a closing tag. For example a paragraph element includes all of the following <para>This is the paragraph.</para>. Some elements are "empty" and do not contain content and a closing tag. An example of this is a link to an external document where the URL is printed to the page. This element would include only the following <ulink url=">.


Popular text editor, especially on UNIX systems or alikes.


An entity is a name designated for some part of data so that it can be referenced by a name. The data could be anything from from simple characters to chapters to sets of statements in a DTD. Entity parameters can be generic, external, internal or SGML data. An entity is similar to a variable in a programming language, or a macro.


Cross-platform XML editor.

external entity

An external entity points to an external document. External entities are used to include texts on certain locations of a SGML document. It could be used to include sample screens, legal notes, and chapters for example.


Objects such as side bars, pictures, tables, and charts are called floats when they don't have a fixed placement on the text. For printed text, a chart can appear either at the top or at the bottom of the page. It can also be placed on the next page if it is too large.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

LDP hosts a number of documents that are a list in the form of questions and answers. These documents are called FAQs. A FAQ is usually a single-page document.

generic entities

An entity referenced by a name, which starts with "&" and ends with semicolon is a generic entity. Most of the time this type of entity is used in the document and not on the DTD. There are two types of entities: external and internal. They can refer to special characters or to text objects such as repeated sentences, names or chapters.

GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL)

Like the GNU Public License for free software, but with specifics for written text and documentation with software.

GNU Public License (GPL)

License type for software that guarantees that the software remains freely distributable, that the source code is available, that you can make changes to it and redistribute those changes if you want, on the condition that you keep on using the same license for your derived works.


TLDP documents that are too long to be a HOWTO are usually stored as guides. These are more like entire books that treat a particular subject in-dept.


Documents that discuss how to do something with a system or application. Most documents hosted at TLDP are HOWTOs, explaining how to install, configure or manage tens of applications on a variety of systems. HOWTOs are typically 10-25 pages.

internal entity

An internal entity refers to part of the text and is often used as a shortcut for frequently repeated text.


Spell check program.


An application which applies the rules defined in a DSSSL style sheet to an SGML or XML document, transforming the document into the desired output.

Markup, markup language (ML)

Code added to the content of a document, describing its structure.


Text in your document that is not important for understanding the subject, but that should be there anyway, such as version information, co-authors, credits to people etc.


Text editor oriented to programmers.

nsgmls, onsgmls

SGML document parser and validator program.

OpenOffice (OOo)

Open Source office suite, compatible with Microsoft Office.

parameter entity

An entity type often used in the DTD or a document's internal subset. The entity's name starts with a percent sign (%) and ends with a semicolon.


Emacs major mode that customizes Emacs for editing SGML documents.

Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS)

OASIS is a non-profit, global consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards.


Draft of your document that conceptualizes the subject and scope. Summary and To-Do list for the work to come.

Portable Document Format (PDF)

Standard document type supported on a wide range of operating systems.

processing instruction

A processing instruction is a command passed to the document formatting tool. It starts with "<?". This document uses processing instructions for naming files when it is rendered into HTML: <?dbhtml filename="file.html">

PostScript (PS)

Document format designed for printable documents. PS is the standard print format on UNIX(-alikes).

Reviewer, review process

TLDP doesn't accept just anything. Once you submit a document, it will be checked for consistency, grammar, spelling and style by a reviewer, a volunteer assigned by the review coordinator.


Standard Generalized Markup Language. It is an international standard (ISO8879) that specifies rules for the creation of electronic documents in markup systems, regardless of the platform used.

Subject and scope

Obviously, the subject is what your documentation is about. The scope defines which areas of the subject you are going to discuss, and how much detail will be involved.


An SGML element bounded by the marks "<" and ">". Tags are used to mark the semantic or logical structure of a document. A sample is the tag <title> to mark the beginning of a title.


Popular UNIX text formatting and typesetting tool.


The process of converting a document from its original DocBook XML form to another format, such as PDF, HTML or PostScript.


The process of checking your XML code to ensure it complies with the XML DTD you declared at the top of your document.

vi Improved (vIm)

Popular text editor on UNIX and alike systems.

WordPerfect (WP)

Popular word processor, runs on many systems.


eXtensible Markup Language. A sub-product of SGML created specifically for Internet use.


Command line XML parser and validator.

XMLmind XML Editor (XXE)

Free but not Open XML editor.


Command line XML transformation program.


XML Style Language. XSL is to a XML document what a DSSSL style is for a SGML document. The XSL is written in XML.

Extensible Stylesheet Transformation (XSLT)

Framework for managing documents, consisting of the XSLT transformation language, the XPath expression language and XSL formatting objects.