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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: gentoo documentation as pdf's Reply with quote

hi,
I've lived the last 6 days without a working internet connection and therefore I've recognized how much I'm dependent on it... So I've installed a firefox addon to download internetpages as pdfs, but it's of rather poor quality.

My question is if one could download the whole available gentoo documentation as pdfs? For example one can view the installation documentation as a printable version, but I couldn't download it...
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steveL
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd recommend you look at wget: it's been a few years since I last did it so you'll have to check the manpage, but you can download everything below a web url, eg foo.bar.org/docs and tell it not to crawl outside that directory.

Also, iirc the gentoo xml docs are in cvs or git, so you can download and roll your own: this is a much better idea in the longer-term as you can contribute fixes as well. (I haven't had time to learn that stuff, but if you do, I'll happily review and provide patches, and I'm sure others will too.)
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GFCCAE6xF
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not just print to pdf file? I've never had any quality issues doing that... no add-on needed.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm personally having great success with web2pdfconvert. Passing it the Gentoo Linux AMD64 Handbook returns a ~700kb .pdf with clickable links to navigate the document. If you don't mind a little logo of the service at the bottom of each page, it's imho a good solution.

Apart from that, you could also create an .mht file, but be advised that this isn't really compatible between different browsers.

I'd like to have that option provided by Gentoo, though I'd prefer or at least also want epub.
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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ rorgoroth
thanks, I didn't know that one can do that.. :oops: good quality, but without clickable links...

@avx
even better quality with web2pdfconvert, but honestly I don't like the logo (I know, I'm a purist :D )

@steveL
wget seems to be the best long term solution, but if I do understand it correctly one have to download the page as html and then need another tool to convert it to pdf...
what do you mean you haven't learned that stuff? the wget-stuff? sometimes I think I could have contributed something (at least my personal experience with problems and overcome them and write a documentation more precisely or explain something more detailed), but I'm not sure if my thought were correct/necessary... but could one change something, send it to you and if its good it passes and if not, so what?!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LoTeK wrote:
wget seems to be the best long term solution, but if I do understand it correctly one have to download the page as html and then need another tool to convert it to pdf...

Yeah, I was just answering the need to have an offline set of documents available, that can be browsed locally. I know that's the way to do it, as I did exactly the same to download the POSIX documentation (after registering of course.) It's so much easier to have them all in one local folder, and I've learnt an awful lot from the overview, and being able to read up on everything as and when it comes up.
You just have to get the parameters right, but if you play in a fresh directory, you'll soon figure it out; since it tells you what it's downloading, you quickly spot if it's going outside the directory or following links to other sites.

That's why I recommended wget: iirc I ended up using curl as well, but that's more for scripting once you know exactly what parameters to use.
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what do you mean you haven't learned that stuff? the wget-stuff?

Heh, no I meant downloading and patching the documentation sources. Gentoo's Guidebook XML is actually really good: it's the examplar usage of XML imo, since it provides a very intuitive format. IMO XML isn't suitable for backend data storage- it was originally designed to be a vendor-neutral transport format between database engines. From that heritage (and SGML) it got its flexibility, so it can be used for micro-formats; GuideXML, like VCard, shows how to do that well.
Any other usage of XML is imnsho misguided. (Most especially its usage in system-space as with hal/dbus/udev.)
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sometimes I think I could have contributed something (at least my personal experience with problems and overcome them and write a documentation more precisely or explain something more detailed), but I'm not sure if my thought were correct/necessary... but could one change something, send it to you and if its good it passes and if not, so what?!

Exactly: we collaborate on the forums, and on IRC, and send in patches. If they don't get taken so what? You've still learnt what you needed, and by writing it up you reinforce and clarify that learning. And you can always keep your work in an overlay, or submit an ebuild for it, so others can find it and use it.

Personally I find it easier just to write-up stuff in a forum post first. I've learnt an awful lot, and been able to tweak my machine how I want, thanks to other people's how-tos.
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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Exactly: we collaborate on the forums, and on IRC, and send in patches. If they don't get taken so what? You've still learnt what you needed, and by writing it up you reinforce and clarify that learning. And you can always keep your work in an overlay, or submit an ebuild for it, so others can find it and use it.

Personally I find it easier just to write-up stuff in a forum post first. I've learnt an awful lot, and been able to tweak my machine how I want, thanks to other people's how-tos.


Ok, cool... for example I've set up an encrypted system with lvm2 over it (with initramfs, separate /usr etc) and I've had hard problems, although there is actually much information around and the community helped me a lot, so I thought I just write anything down what I did and post it... should those posts be on the normal forum sections? my example in "installing gentoo" etc?
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steveL
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LoTeK wrote:
Ok, cool... for example I've set up an encrypted system with lvm2 over it (with initramfs, separate /usr etc) and I've had hard problems, although there is actually much information around and the community helped me a lot, so I thought I just write anything down what I did and post it... should those posts be on the normal forum sections? my example in "installing gentoo" etc?

Yeah, sounds good: I'd knock something up and post it in "Documentation, Tips and Tricks" unless it's for unsupported software, which this isn't.
As examples, here's my most recent howto on switching to mutt, and from when I started out, my page of tips. The thing I work on most update started out as a way to learn bash, and to fix the then-crufty behaviour of portage; it didn't have --keep-going, nor --jobs, so package merges blasted the screen with loads of configuration logs. That code still gets used when it's installing toolchain apps, or doing a revdep-rebuild, or if you're not using --jobs/-j at all (either in FEATURES or at command-line.)

If you're doing init-based stuff, you might find the post on using udev without an initramfs interesting: it's not appropriate for your use-case (it requires a vanilla rootfs, ie: unencrypted and not on lvm) but you might get some ideas for stuff you can try with openrc. There's a useful bashrc snippet at the end of my tips page about that (the functions I used to get that going.)

The beauty of the forums is you can update the post over time, as you learn more and others post feedback.

HTH, and let us know when you've drafted something.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL,

I believe the wiki is a better place for such documentation articles and howtos, because it has much better search functionality, categorization, rich markup and templates, and is simply made for it. And you can update it over time, even collaborate with people.

Not many people will come first to the forums to search for documentation, they'll search the official docs or the wiki first.

he whole culture of having docs and howtos scattered over forums (I believe this comes mainly from Ubuntu) just results in confusing and often outdated info, as only the original poster can update it, so you must go through the whole thread to find up-to-date info and then you have many articles on the same thing, because the other authors didn't find the previous ones. I think this is why the Arch wiki is so vast and acclaimed, they have almost no howtos/docs on the forums and everything on the wiki.

I really believe your effort will come to greater use if you put it on the wiki.
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steveL
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smartass wrote:
I believe the wiki is a better place for such documentation articles and howtos, because it has much better search functionality, categorization, rich markup and templates, and is simply made for it. And you can update it over time, even collaborate with people.

I've had this discussion lots of times: ISTR having it with you a few years ago, though I could be wrong.

Wiki markup is usually awful. Yes, you can collaborate around a wiki article, but it's not nearly as friendly as collaborating around a forum how to. Once it's in reasonable shape, then you can post the content wherever you like. But for getting the ideas into shape in the first place, nothing beats the forums IME. YMMV of course, and you can do whatever you're most comfortable with, just like I will continue to do on the forums ;-)
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Not many people will come first to the forums to search for documentation, they'll search the official docs or the wiki first.

I don't agree with that. Longer-term users read the forums more than they search the wiki. Additionally, Gentoo forums used to be well-known as the place to get good, distribution-neutral information on how to tweak just about anything in Linux. That's a natural consequent of building everything from source, and how it forces you to stay close to upstream projects in order to ease maintenance. As a result, the setup of most things is pretty generic, and specific to the package, not the distro.

That didn't come from people using this web interface or that one, but from quality content and search engine indexing.
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The whole culture of having docs and howtos scattered over forums (I believe this comes mainly from Ubuntu)

pfft, no it's a Gentoo thing actually (as above.)
Quote:
just results in confusing and often outdated info, as only the original poster can update it, so you must go through the whole thread to find up-to-date info

Wrong: since the poster can update it, they update the front post, and people using it typically go to the last page when it comes up in the web interface, to see any recent discussion. If it gets overly long, it switches to a new thread, and the front post links to it. That only applies when it's a discursive thread, and they tend to be around specific problems, not good general approaches or howtos, or useful utilities.
Quote:
and then you have many articles on the same thing, because the other authors didn't find the previous ones. I think this is why the Arch wiki is so vast and acclaimed, they have almost no howtos/docs on the forums and everything on the wiki.

Heh, that used to be how people talked about the Gentoo forums. And if your authors don't know the other approaches on the forums, it usually means they don't know enough about Gentoo imo, and haven't done their homework, or are not really part of the community and are just interested in dumping their "wisdom" on the masses.

Don't get me wrong: I've got nothing against a wiki and a documentation website. The Gentoo handbook and indeed all the project documentation rocks. I occasionally even contribute to the Bash wiki.

None of that changes that the forums are a great way to start, both as an individual, and in terms of the quality of the eventual result. As an example, nobody would be running gentoo-hardened nowadays, if users on the forums hadn't started collaborating on their own initiative, around a discussion that turned into a long-running support thread.
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