Grammar in Documentation

Robert Stoffers rstoffers at
Tue Mar 7 09:15:04 GMT 2006

Rocco Stanzione wrote:
> I probably care more about this than most people, but to me one of the 
> significant contributions to the lack of "polish" in Linux vs. most 
> commercial software is the lack of attention to spelling/grammar in the 
> documentation.  I've just begun submitting patches for these things to 
> projects upstream, but it's a tedious process.  Apt-get source package.  
> Copy, grep, read, fix, diff, email.  I would like to see an interface where I 
> could easily browse to documentation files, edit them as in a wiki, and have 
> my changes submitted as a patch.  Or something similar.  This would mostly be 
> useful, for now, for Ubuntu-specific documentation, since I assume we'd 
> prefer to have things like this come from upstream.  I'm sure this is less 
> important than translations, for example, but it's an area where I'm very 
> willing and able to contribute and I think that for many users it could 
> accumulate into a significant impact on polish.  What do you think?
> Rocco Stanzione

I bought up an idea similar to this a week or so ago on the Ubuntu-doc 
mailing list. I won't go into detail here, other then to say I suggested 
a simple web interface to the docteam subversion repository modeled 
after the Gentoo system. Effectively this meant anyone could easily gain 
access to the XML using a web browser, then all they had to do was diff 
the file and email the diff to the list.

With more work this system could work something like a controlled wiki, 
were trusted docteam members could review submissions using a web based 
interface and choose whether to commit them to the subversion repository 
or not. Such as system could use Guide XML (easy to learn) or Docbook 
XML, it wouldn't matter which.

Ultimately the idea was shot down as documenters like to write instead 
of code. I wouldn't mind putting something together with PHP or Python, 
any thoughts on this?


Robert Stoffers

Ubuntu - rob1 at
Townsville Linux Users Group -
Freenode Support Staff -

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