Confirming that no one else is working on Guide Documentation, Chapter 3

Thomas Bullock tbullock at
Mon Jul 26 10:14:54 EDT 2010

Derek and all,

[<<snip>>: ]

I do not believe anyone is actively working on documentation.  I think
at this point you have announced your intention to work on documentation
(thank you!!!!) so just send email updates periodically (like, weekly?)
on your status.  Or better yet, send in the documentation updates
frequently, too.

[<<Tom>>: ] 

OK, count this as weekly update #1:

Rather than do a massive overhaul at this point, I believe it important for me to get on top of the entire GC system.  So I am starting with what I know most about at this point: accounting concepts as they can be applied to current features of GC.

The issue that got me started was the user question about handling reimbursed expenses.  Trying to find where that fit in existing documentation I found the place to be in Chapter 3 where it deals with the catch-all category called "assets".  I have added reimbursed expenses and many other common uses of accounting with basic descriptions of how to record these items as a small business or a personal user.

While the content of the patch is ready for me to put into the patch process, I need to learn how to make that process work.  That is where my efforts are currently and will remain there until I understand the sequence of steps needed to make a proposed patch actually be accepted by the developers.  I mean by that: what I send in passes the tests developers need to use to verify that the proposed patch does not break the system.

Thanks to all for their patience and support while I climb the learning curve.  I anticipate that once I have mastered the process for the first patch, subsequent ones should not be so time-consuming, at least not for the reasons the present one is.

[<<snip>>: ] 

>>   I
>> also discovered that in 2006 someone used the wiki to present/edit the
>> parts of the Concept Guide (and presumably started the page above,
>> too). See
>> and the other linked text.
>> The wiki might be a convenient way to get revision suggestions and
>> feedback,

At one point someone wanted to try to use the wiki for document editing,
but there's not a good way to take the wiki pages and turn it into
"real" documentation.  So that project sort-of died.

[<<Tom>>: ] 

Based on what you disclose about these two pages, it seems like a good idea to take their 
Information and integrate it appropriately into future releases, that is, they are added to a
Documentation "to-do" list.

[<<snip>>: ] 
>> especially if you use an automated tool to convert the
>> sources between Docbook and wiki. I gather there are several

That's the problem -- there are not really good tools to do
bi-directional conversion.

[<<Tom>>: ] 
Are there any separate tools that convert one-way:  wiki to DocBook?  And DocBook to wiki?

[<<snip>>: ] 
I believe the actual docbook docs are canonical (except for the FAQ).

[<<Tom>>: ] By "canonical" do you mean the documentation that is downloaded from Subversion
Is the official documentation?
If so, are FAQs only kept on wikis?  If true, is that due to ease of access and adding answers to user questions on a timely basis?
Has it ever been the case that FAQs were tried in DocBook and failed for some reason?

> Tom


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL:    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord at MIT.EDU                        PGP key available

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