The Midlife Geek

Ramblings of a middle aged engineer, runner and open source enthusiast

Tag: Documentation Team

What was your favourite comment in OpenWeek?

I’ve been trying to get to as much of OpenWeek as I could and have really enjoyed a lot of the sessions. Dustin Kirkland’s session on encrypted home folders and of course the Docs Day sessions were fantastic 😉

So I was wondering what everyone’s favourites so far were…

My favourite comment was from Mark Shuttleworth during his Q&A, I’ve seen similar questions asked so many times but I’ve never seen an answer as succint:

(12:24:03 PM) jcastro: <rabbit251> jcastro: QUESTION: Do you see Wine (and Windows-compatibilty in general)
or native Linux ports as the more important ingredient in the success of Ubuntu, or do they each play an
important role?
(12:24:18 PM) sabdfl: they both play an important role
(12:24:30 PM) sabdfl: but fundamentally, the free software ecosystem needs to thrive on its own rules
(12:24:41 PM) sabdfl: it is *different* to the proprietary software universe
(12:24:54 PM) sabdfl: we need to make a success of our own platform on our own terms
(12:25:08 PM) sabdfl: if Linux is just another way to run Windows apps, we can't win
(12:25:13 PM) sabdfl: OS/2 tried that

I’ve started using the last two lines as my email signature.

Building PDF from Ubuntu Documentation

People frequently ask for PDF versions of the Ubuntu System Help. We have a toolchain to build them but why not do it yourself?

This is true of any DocBook – dblatex is in the Ubuntu repositories and can transform DocBook in to many formats, the default being PDF.

Usually it is as simple as:

dblatex filename.xml

To generate filename.pdf. Most errors are easy to rectify because dblatex calls other tools and you can step through some (such as pdflatex).

However if you get an error along the lines of:

Overfull @hbox (20.76302pt too wide)

Well that is a bit of a pain. The prescribed wisdom is that something (usually a ulink) is just really too long, such as one of those really long URLs. In the case of DocBook, more often than not it’s a table that it just cannot render – so keep them simple!

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