Oolite Manual

An area for discussing new ideas and additions to Oolite.

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Selezen
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Post by Selezen »

Hmm...trouble is that I have used Word to create a nice border to the pages that wraps over onto facing pages

Code: Select all

/--------|--------\
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Kinda like that...

That effect would be lost with a conversion to HTML, but storing it as a PDF would retain that formatting...

My idea for the manual is to have as polished and modern looking a manual as possible. However, if we are going to go down the road of making it part of a distribution package then I think we are going to lose a lot of the nice touches that will make it into a polished manual instead of a fancy readme file.

I chose Word cos I have been using it for a while. I could write it in DHTML if you really want, but it really would look comparatively pants.

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Post by winston »

Selezen wrote:Hmm...trouble is that I have used Word to create a nice border to the pages that wraps over onto facing pages
See my last message on the possibilty that a conversion to OO writer will solve it. Don't switch to HTML on account of me!

My objection to having Word .doc files in the SVN repo are:

- it drags an expensive (approx £350) proprietary requirement to anyone wanting to contribute to documentation, and MS Office is not available for Linux anyway (and I suspect few Ooliters who use Mac OS X have MS Office either).
- it cannot be automated to generate PDFs as part of the build process (a real killer as this makes new releases *a lot* more effort as several manual steps will be needed each time a full release is made).

The solutions consist of the following choices:
- Use HTML (not desriable for the reasons you outline so we'll throw that one out straight away).
- Store PDFs in the SVN tree (not desirable because then you have no source version control)
- When you're done, convert it to OpenOffice SXW for storage in SVN.

No, don't change it to HTML if it'll destroy the formatting. If you send me what you have now I can tell you how it looks in OpenOffice. Chances are it'll work in OpenOffice just fine and it'll all be a non-event. If it can, that's the ideal solution because:

- OpenOffice is free, so few barriers to entry
- OpenOffice runs on both platforms that currently run Oolite properly
- OpenOffice files can be converted by that Python tool as part of the build process to PDF - automatically, without needing OpenOffice to actually be installed on the build machine.

In the event it cannot be converted, well, then we'll just store the PDFs in the doc directory on SVN. It won't be ideal from the source code versioning standpoint, but the build process can simply copy the PDFs to the right location when building the final full package.

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Selezen
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Post by Selezen »

Well, I've downloaded OpenOffice.org and imported the Word file into it.

I'm fairly shocked. Look: :shock: :shock:

See? Shocked. OOo has imported the file pretty much flawlessly, and retained most of the original formatting. The only thing is that the background image, which is part of the header and covers the whole page, stops the user from editing the text, as the cursor detects it as an image and gives you the image selection pointer.

Never mind. Small problem. I've cleaned up the alignment of the text and am back working again. The manual will be in OpenOffice Writer format.

See? Contrary to what Break thinks, I am eager to do what it takes to conform in the Elite Universe!! :wink: :lol:

My original intent was to writ the manual and convert it to PDF for uploading to SVN then I'd be responsible for modding the manual when new functionality was added to the program. It does make more sense to have a version controllable method though...

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Post by winston »

Cool, that's good to hear :-)

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Open office. YUP!

Post by Ensa »

It warms my heart when people appreciate open office.
I recently converted someone to the benefits of using portable open office installed on a USB stick. They were one in a million.
Mostly people just look at me strange and ask me if I am on MSN or what... :roll:
Gaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! [emoticon banging head against wall and then shooting self]
I love you guys....
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E.

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Selezen
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Post by Selezen »

I have to admit, I am impressed with OOo.

P.S. Notice how we are arriving at a convention for using the letter O here. And the couplet OO. Odd.

The fact that it handles MS Word docs as well as it does makes it pretty extensible. Once I've learned the nuances, I'm sure it might replace Word as my DTP app of choice!

Anyway, back to drawing a blasted Fuel Scoop. Gods this is complex.

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Post by AndyC_772 »

Presumably you guys know that Open Office v2 has a button to export as PDF.

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Post by winston »

OpenOffice has been able to create PDF as long as I've used it (at least 2 or 3 years).

However... the real win here for PDF creation is that it can be automated as part of a build script. Which means, for example, when changes are made to the manual for a new build - all you do is write the manual and commit. The build process takes care of the PDF generation - so you don't have to! Automation is teh q-bomb.

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Post by AndyC_772 »

Really? I thought it was new in version 2 that's only just been released. Shows how much attention I've been paying, I guess.

<scurries back into his burrow>

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Post by Rxke »

Selezen, can you semi-officially set up a yahoo group or blog or whatever, concentrating the different documentation already in existence? If people want to add things, they have to know what's already done.
The already existing Wiki might be good, but from experience, lots of people have problems to figure out how to contribute to wikis...

oh, and request: a list of the galactic 'spacelanes' as discussed here: http://aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1079

seems like Linux doesn't dump these...

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Selezen
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Post by Selezen »

Hmm...I like not the groups of Yahoo. Yet another login and password to remember.

I have two ideas. 1: use this topic or 2: use my already existing forum.

My forum doesn't need a login (guest posting is allowed) and is already set up and running. All I need to do is restructure it a little and remove the stuff that no-one is interested in.

If this is an acceptable idea, let me know. I do have a blog thingy on my site, but I would need to set it up...

I would ask that you let me finish the first draft before any comments and ideas are put forward - I'll be publically posting it as soon as it's done.

Soon, my pretties...soon...

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Rxke
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Post by Rxke »

Your forum is fine, ifyou don't mind the potential slashdotting (remember the deluge of visitors from linux.ru here awhile ago...

And whaddayamean yet another password to remember? Do as Ido, set them all to 123456, easy!

:lol:

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Selezen
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Post by Selezen »

OK, if that's ok with Giles and Winston, I'll restructure the forum and link it here when I'm done.

Progress report: pretty slow going seeing as I was on training Thursday and Friday, and bonfire night (and recovery from the post fireworks drinking binge) has taken up the majority of the last few days...

Equipment descriptions are about done. Installation guides are about done. Flight training section was starte midweek. Other various notes were made in the margin of my management training notes, so I still have no idea how to be a manager!! :wink:

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Post by TGHC »

Rxke wrote:And whaddayamean yet another password to remember? Do as Ido, set them all to 123456, easy!
A hackers dream, I hope you use something different for online banking, and card purchases.

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Selezen
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Post by Selezen »

Progress report!

Wrote specifications of the bridge systems and an outline of the engineering systems. Bridge systems descriptions includes an overview of the viewscreen and HUD, meaning that all the indicators on screen now have descriptions and instructions for use. I also wrote a pretty cool outline of how energy banks work.

Did a couple more equipment descriptions. Need to look up some equipment limitations of ships other than the Cobra Mk III (such as the Cobra I not being able to have a cargo bay extension.

Lots of thoughts. Want to make a start on the trading and flight tutorials soon...got a few ideas for that. Might actually steal Giles' flight introduction from the main Oolite site.

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