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    Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Submitted by robster on Wednesday, April 04, 2001 – 19:30
    As you know, Debian is a community effort. I’m asking for help from
    intermediate to advanced users to make Debian even better than it is.

    As per Debian’s Policy, every executable file in Debian has to supply a
    man page. However, many packages don’t follow this requirement yet. I
    have created a listing of all executables for which no corresponding man
    page is available yet. If you use any of these packages listed below,
    please consider writing a man page for its executable files and submit it
    to the Bug Tracking System (BTS), bugs.debian.org.

    Writing man pages is not very difficult. You can simply look at some man
    pages in /usr/share/man and follow their structure (also see the file
    /usr/share/doc/man-db/examples/manpage.example). Furthermore, some
    information about the format of man pages is available in the man page of
    man (man 7 man) and pod2man (man 1 pod2man). Finally, you can also install
    the package help2man (man help2man) which is an automatic manpage
    When you decide to help out, please write the man pages for a whole
    package. Send e-mail to man-pages@qa.debian.org and tell us which package
    you are working on. We can then add you to this web site so other people
    know that someone is working on that particular package already.

    The full listing together with more instructions are available at
    http://qa.debian.org/man-pages.html Currently, 614 man pages are missing.
    Volunteers should be proficient writers. (NB, Debian also looks for
    volunteers to translate texts to other languages, see

    Thanks in advance for your help to improve Debian! If you have any
    questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Martin Michlmayr

    Control panel

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    Subject: Duplication of documentation
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2001/04/05 – 17:32
    I’d love to start writing manpages, but before I do, as an author who is willing to put aside a lot of time to make something that’s good even better, I want to see an assurance that the manpages will be:

    • Forwarded to the programmers of the package for inclusion in future versions, so that I do not have to maintain the manual page if I don’t want to, and so the manual page can reach the greatest audience.
    • Made available systems other than Debian, without discrimination, in a manner that would make them easily integratable not only to Linux distributions but also *BSD and even commercial UNIX vendors that support Free applications.

    These points should be handled by official Debian project members to make writing a manual page a more attractive prospect for the rest of us. If ever I set up a RedHat system for a friend in one year, I want to see my manual page in use there, assuming that no better documentation has been produced since.
    I am also interested in writing manpages for Linux kernel modules, particularly those with user configurable module parameters, but once again, I want to see the assurances above before I put my time and effort into it.
    The recent success of Free software arises from the GPL, which guarantees authors certain freedoms that other licenses could not offer. Although the GFDL offers similar guarantees, I want to see more effort put into minimising the duplication of documentation in modern Free operating systems before I write a line of documentation.

    [ Please login, or register ]


    Subject: Re: Duplication of documentation
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Friday, 2001/04/06 – 01:13
    Please see the Debian Social Contract

    From the Social Contract:

    2.We Will Give Back to the Free Software Community

    When we write new components of the Debian system, we will license them as free software. We will make the best system we can, so that free software will be widely distributed and used. We will feed back bug-fixes, improvements, user requests, etc. to the “upstream” authors of software included in our system.

    This idea of refusing to fork is part of Debian’s core philosophy. It can be seen clearly in the fact that Debian’s source packages come as a *orig.tar.gz and a *diff.gz, making it easy to see what the Debian changes are, and thus making it easier to forward appropriate changes upstream.

    That being said there are a number of factors that control whether or not any changes are included upstream. These factors include at least how responsive upstream is and how much time the developer has. Authors of documentation can also help by making contact with upstream themselves if the Debian developer in question is pressed for time at the moment.

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    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2001/04/05 – 12:12
    As a choice for writing manpages, you also have the
    DocBook SGML and XML DTDs. DocBook ‘s
    can be turned into manpages using the docbook2man
    tool (package docbook2x IIRC).


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    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Monday, 2001/04/09 – 18:18
    DocBook is definitively the way to go. There
    are two tools in Debian: docbook2x transforms
    DocBook/XML to man pages or info pages and
    docbook-to-man transforms DocBook/SGML to
    man pages.
    [ Please login, or register ]


    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Sunday, 2001/04/08 – 21:06

    you can also help to translate some of the package descriptions. You can find more informationen here:


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    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Friday, 2001/04/06 – 19:08
    I wanted to help write documentation in the past,
    and i had problems with the complexity of the DocBook format.
    I would suggest perhaps something be setup where people can write the entry and sombody else turn it into that arcane format? or si there a easier way?
    [ Please login, or register ]


    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Monday, 2001/04/09 – 18:22
    GNU Emacsens psgml-mode helps a lot when
    writing DocBook stuff! At any point it shows
    all legal tags and shows possible problems in
    the document. Also, the docbook2x and/or
    docbook-to-man packages come with nice examples
    of man pages. And Mark Galassi (Cygnus?) wrote
    a nice DocBook tutorial, available somewhere on
    the internet.
    [ Please login, or register ]


    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2001/04/05 – 12:15
    Damn, the <RefEntry> tag I wanted to point out was
    eaten as HTML 🙁 OK, I’ll use preview his time.


    [ Please login, or register ]

    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Thursday, 2001/04/05 – 10:13
    Ok, pandora.d.o (qa.d.o, etc.) is back up. Go check out the packages that need manpages and sign up! 🙂
    [ Please login, or register ]

    Subject: Re: Debian help wanted, yes that means you!
    Author: Anonymous
    Date: Wednesday, 2001/04/04 – 21:47
    Patience is a virtue. pandora.d.o (qa) is down right now…
    [ Please login, or register ]


    Subject: Re: qa is down
    Author: stevens
    Date: Thursday, 2001/04/05 – 03:13

    pandora.d.o (qa) is down right now…

    I never noticed until now that:

    non-us.debian.org == security.debian.org == qa.debian.org

    Poor machine. And no wonder apt is timing out.

    [ Please login, or register ]

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