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My thanks to Sue Blake, Patrick Durusau, Jon Hamilton, Peter Flynn, and Christopher Maden, who took the time to read early drafts of this document and offer many valuable comments and criticisms.
Overview
Welcome to the FreeBSD Documentation Project (<acronym>FDP</acronym>). Quality documentation is crucial to the success of FreeBSD, and we value your contributions very highly.
This document describes how the <acronym>FDP</acronym> is organized, how to write and submit documentation, and how to effectively use the available tools.
Everyone is welcome to contribute to the <acronym>FDP</acronym>. Willingness to contribute is the only membership requirement.
This primer shows how to:
Identify which parts of FreeBSD are maintained by the <acronym>FDP</acronym>.
Install the required documentation tools and files.
Make changes to the documentation.
Submit changes back for review and inclusion in the FreeBSD documentation.
Quick Start
Some preparatory steps must be taken before editing the FreeBSD documentation. First, subscribe to the <link xlink:href="http://lists.FreeBSD.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-doc">FreeBSD documentation project mailing list</link>. Some team members also interact on the <literal>#bsddocs</literal> <acronym>IRC</acronym> channel on <link xlink:href="http://www.efnet.org/">EFnet</link>. These people can help with questions or problems involving the documentation.
Install the <package>textproc/docproj</package> meta-package and <application>Subversion</application>. This meta-package installs all of the software needed to edit and build FreeBSD documentation. The <application>Subversion</application> package is needed to obtain a working copy of the documentation and generate patches with.
<prompt>#</prompt> <userinput>pkg install docproj subversion</userinput>
Optional: to generate PDF documentation, install the <package>textproc/fop</package> package as it is not installed by default by <package>textproc/docproj</package>.
<prompt>#</prompt> <userinput>pkg install fop</userinput>
Install a local working copy of the documentation from the FreeBSD repository in <filename>~/doc</filename> (see <xref linkend="working-copy"/>).
<prompt>%</prompt> <userinput>svn checkout https://svn.FreeBSD.org/doc/head <replaceable>~/doc</replaceable></userinput>
Configure the text editor:
Word wrap set to 70 characters.
Tab stops set to 2.
Replace each group of 8 leading spaces with a single tab.
Specific editor configurations are listed in <xref linkend="editor-config"/>.
Update the local working copy:
<prompt>%</prompt> <userinput>svn up <replaceable>~/doc</replaceable></userinput>
Edit the documentation files that require changes. If a file needs major changes, consult the mailing list for input.
References to tag and entity usage can be found in <xref linkend="xhtml-markup"/> and <xref linkend="docbook-markup"/>.
After editing, check for problems by running:
<prompt>%</prompt> <userinput>igor -R filename.xml | less -RS</userinput>
Review the output and edit the file to fix any problems shown, then rerun the command to find any remaining problems. Repeat until all of the errors are resolved.
<emphasis>Always</emphasis> build-test changes before submitting them. Running <userinput>make</userinput> in the top-level directory of the documentation being edited will generate that documentation in split HTML format. For example, to build the English version of the Handbook in <acronym>HTML</acronym>, run <command>make</command> in the <filename>en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/</filename> directory.

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Source string comment
(itstool) path: step/screen
Flags
no-wrap, read-only
Source string location
book.translate.xml:421
String age
4 months ago
Source string age
4 months ago
Translation file
books/fdp-primer.pot, string 68