David Carlson carlson.dl at
Wed Dec 11 09:05:51 EST 2013

On 12/10/2013 10:27 PM, John Ralls wrote:
> On Dec 10, 2013, at 6:48 PM, David Carlson <carlson.dl at> wrote:
>> On 12/10/2013 12:40 PM, John Ralls wrote:
>>> As we get down to the wire for releasing GnuCash 2.6, we still have 45 open documentation bugs. You can see the list at; each bug on that list is a clickable link to the details.
>>> If you’ve been looking for a way to contribute to Gnucash (or even if you haven’t ;-) ) but can’t contribute code for whatever reason, working on the documentation would be an excellent way to help.
>>> Following the Gnome practice we use DocBook. Gnome has a nice manual for writing documentation, including DocBook, at 
>> I just took another look at that DocBook reference and got overwhelmed
>> again by references to using multiple programs that do not run in
>> Windows, SVN, stylesheets, XML, etc., which reminds me of why I have
>> been submitting my documentation requests (several of those 45) in plain
>> text.  That seems to be where they end, because I am not ready to spend
>> several weeks learning how to get those programs running, etc.  If
>> someone knows how to convert text into appropriate XML with valid tags,
>> etc., I wish they would go ahead and do it.  Then I could let loose with
>> a whole bunch of additional documentation bugs.
> Have a go with this:
> It's not exactly a direct conversion of text, but if you can get it to work it'll be a lot easier than wrangling XML directly. 
> Another possibility:
> We might be able to write a script to pull from the wiki. In the meantime, it suggests a temporary solution: Put your suggestions into the wiki. That way they'll be formatted and accessible. If we can't manage anything else we can put a pointer in the docs.
> Regards,
> John Ralls
(When I was in college, I was the kid that sat in the front row of the
classroom and asked too many difficult questions.)

Before I go too far with this, I have a big Question.

What about version control?

It appears that the Open Office path is designed to produce finished
documents as opposed to patches.  I think that the process of importing
a large XML document into OO, massaging it then exporting it back to XML
has a potential to wreak havoc. 

If that is true, an attempt to change or insert a few paragraphs or to
correct a singular mis-spelling would potentially create more work
rather than less work to push it into whichever version control system
that GnuCash is currently using for documentation.  Is that true, or am
I completely ignorant about how version control works?

Is it possible to start an edit session in OO with a minimum amount of
context to identify correct placement of the edit in the overall document?

Also, I would not want to bypass the Bugzilla step in the process that
gives others a chance to stop me if I start down a wrong path.

I didn't even touch the issue of translation into foreign languages, did
I?  Oops, now I did. :)

To date I have not attempted to edit the wiki.  It looks like I need to
explore that path.

David C
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