Inside TLDP

A behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of the Linux Documentation Project.
New Procedures

But all these efforts were not enough. Ever more authors and other volunteers needed guidance, and ever more documents had to be organized. The project hosted a lot of outdated documents by now, which became a bit shameful. Another problem was the random publication of documents. There was so much work and not enough people to do it, so anybody could publish almost anything. Scandal broke loose when a couple of opinionated documents were found, containing tainted and sometimes plainly wrong information that was possibly harmful to the readers.

Thus, 2003 became the year of revamping. A thorough search through the entire collection revealed more old or doubtful documents that were taken off-line for a revision. Documents too old to be useful were moved to the attic. Tabatha Marshall was appointed review coordinator and put together a team of reviewers. Together, they edit new submissions: they check for technical correctness, readability and grammar and spelling errors. Furthermore, they apply the TLDP style so as to give the collection consistency. The Weekly News was revived and offered over RSS feed. Input from the feedback mailing list was followed up once more. The Author Guide was revised to list the new procedures for publishing documents in accordance with the quality control guidelines. A HOWTO generator was created to facilitate submissions by new authors. Beyond these visible accomplishments, hundreds of people are working together now, everyone of them contributing a small part to this huge project.

People responsible for managing projects often ask us how we do it. This is how. There is no book that tells you how to do it. We are on a road with many bumps and ups and downs, and TLDP seemingly hangs together with hooks and eyes--but it's there and it doesn't go away.



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People responsible for

poker online's picture

People responsible for managing projects often ask us how we do it. This is how. There is no book that tells you how to do it. We are on a road with many bumps and ups and downs, and TLDP seemingly hangs together with hooks and eyes--but it's there and it doesn't go away.


thank you

Free online dating site's picture

Thank you for this project. My website is developed in pure C++ for Linux, it does not use any MySQL/PHP databases. All database is held in RAM with STL and dumps at disk. TLDP has greatly helped me to create it. Thank you!

2004 ... wow this is some

Anonymous's picture

2004 ... wow this is some kind of historic document right here ;)
greets, Leupold Luftreiniger


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Thank you

adtech's picture

Thank you


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TLDP down?

Henning Sprang's picture

What happened to the TLDP?

Since weeks, I only get Server timeouts ("Firefox can't find the server at") when trying to access the tldp.

What's up with it?


Inside TLDP: setting things straight

Anonymous's picture

- According to an excerpt from the mailinglist archive that was sent to me, Guylhem took over from Lars only in 1999.

- There are a couple of things left out, since this is an article and not a book:
* Rise and fall of the Open Source Writers Group;
* David Merrill, creator and maintainer of the LDP database and developer of LDP tools, deserves credit but is not mentioned - but on the other hand there are many others who did fantastic work and are not mentioned here. I hope these people understand the context of this article and know that I am thinking about them, eventhough they are not all listed by name;

- Note the difference between old documents that are unmaintained and documents that deal with old(er) concepts or old hardware but that are still being maintained;

- I might have given the impression that Guylhem took over a floundering organization, but this is not so. Lars, his predecessor, was working on major changes, including an automated submission system for updates - however this was never finished;

- Not all printed copies of TLDP docs were copies of the complete collection.


Re: Inside TLDP: setting things straight

Anonymous's picture

The historical record of the "core team" has been preserved AND the current structure is available from:



Anonymous's picture

The LDP has been a valuable resource to many, despte the issues with outdated documents you mentioned. Thanks for all your time and effort on the project.

old documents and tldp in general

Anonymous's picture


The TLDP is actively working on improving its collection and removing anything old and redundant.

But for this kind of thing we need help, volunteer work doesn't happen by itself.

So if anyone finds spare time feel free to contribute to the TLDP....

current ltdp contributor


Bruce Byford's picture

I just contributed to TLDP about 2 weeks ago but haven't received an acknowledgment yet. Could you please look into it?

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