GNOME Documentation Style Guide

Karsten Wade kwade at
Mon Aug 23 11:36:33 UTC 2004


On Sat, 2004-08-21 at 12:24, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> I am one of the writer/editors working on the Fedora Documentation
> Project <>, and we are preparing a
> set of Style Guidelines for aspiring writers and editors. In doing a
> short survey of related sites, I came across the captioned guide
> ("GDSG"). Since all our documentation will be licensed under the GNU
> FDL, as is the GDSG, we are very interested in using portions of your
> Guide as source material. Your use of the GNU FDL makes this effort
> possible.
> As the individual who will likely take the lead on preparing the Fedora
> Documentation Style Guidelines, I'm writing partly out of a sense of
> courtesy, but also to commend you on an exceptionally concise and
> readable guide. We hope that our use of the GDSG will make the process
> of creating useful, contemporary Fedora documentation a more pleasant
> experience for all our contributors. We also hope that we may be able to
> build upon the exceptional work you've done in preparing the GDSG.
> Please feel free to contact me back, or visit our list archives at
> <>.
> (cc: fedora-docs-list)

The debian-docs list had a similar result recently, someone recommending
the GDSG as a baseline for a Debian style guide.

This came about because of a heated discussion about sexist language.  I
heard about this from someone saying, "Look at these idiots on this
mailing list arguing such dumb stuff!" (start 1) (next

I think the GDSG guideline stands, and it is the one I have always
used.  Avoid sexist language, mainly by avoiding the third-person
pronoun.  We should specify that all of our docs refer to the
second-person pronoun 'you.'

Happy reading, 

Karsten Wade, RHCE, Tech Writer
a lemon is just a melon in disguise
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