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welcome, everyone, to the Python docs maintainer team!  I'm positively
flattened by the sheer number of volunteers, and the broad spectrum of
people caring about the docs.

To get to know each other, I suggest everyone posts a (short) introduction
about himself, his involvement with Python and documentation, and how he
likes to help -- with writing, editing, the software or else. [1]_

(I know many have already done that in their first mail, but not everyone
will have read those.)

Ah yes, and the timezone may be useful information too  :) 

Now, here are a few things you'll want to know about:

Getting started

  As a start, everybody should have a Python checkout and a doctools
  checkout. The SVN URLs are and

  (there are some tips on SVN at

  The doctools directory contains all the toolset that's been written
  so far (I've moved it there from the docutils berlios SVN).

  The README file in there tells you how to get started with the conversion
  and how to use the "sphinx" [2]_ builder. (At least on *NIX, if anybody
  wants to work out a similar thing for Windows...)

  The Python directory contains the source code of Python and has a
  subdirectory called Doc/, in which the current LaTeX sources lie, and
  which we will replace sooner or later with the reST sources.

Time Commitment

  As this is a voluntary effort, nobody is "required" to do anything.
  When the new system goes live, it depends on the amount of comments
  and change suggestions that come in how much the group will have to
  shoulder.  (More on that below.)
  But as always, every contribution helps.

Mailing Lists

  This list,, will mainly be our private coordination place.
  (The archives are not publicly accessible.)
  Additionally, outside mails to will get here too, they
  can usually be answered, and if needed, discussed, quickly.
  Also, for a start I had in mind to let the web application send patches
  and comment notifications here too, which can later be changed if the
  traffic gets too hard.

  There is also the Doc-SIG (special interest group), which is at the moment
  quite deserted.  In the tradition of open source, I think it would
  be good if discussions that are of public interest are at least crossposted
  there, in order to allow others to participate.

Other Infrastructure

  While a mailing list is a very nice thing to have, sometimes a Wiki page
  is better suited to coordinating a task.  For now, I suggest using a
  subhierarchy of the Python wiki at -- if this is found
  impractical, we'll have to think about some other solution.

  As a bug tracker, we'll use SF for now, and the new tracker
  as soon as it goes live.  I'll have a new category "doctools" created in
  the latter, so that content and toolset bugs can be separated.

  Finally, I've set up an IRC channel #python-docs at
  I'll be there most of the time, so short questions can be settled there
  as well with private email; everyone is welcome to join and idle there.

SVN Access

  Those of you who'll contribute more than the occasional patch (which
  can be just mailed to a committer) can get SVN access to
  For that, I'll need an SSH2 compatible public key, your full name and,
  of course, your word that you won't touch things outside the documentation
  tree  :) 

First Tasks

  The first task for those who want to develop the toolset is to make
  themselves familiar with it.  It's not quite documented at the moment,
  but I'll try and write up a cursory code overview after I finish this
  mail, so expect it to turn up in SVN soon.

  I'd like to ask all of you to look at the new built documentation and
  collect thoughts about it -- not the content, but mainly the infrastructure
  such as navigational elements, accessibility etc.

  Note that the web application does use JavaScript in some places, but only
  for better usability (hopefully).  Users without JavaScript may not lose
  any functionality.  (This should be confirmed every now and then.)

  Finally, I have some finer points of the content structure to discuss,
  for which you don't have to be familiar with the toolset yet,
  but I'll send that out in separate mails.

Next Tasks

  When we find the toolset reasonably complete, we'll convert both the
  Python 2.6 and Python 3.0 SVN documentation branches to the new system.
  The conversion itself is (should be, you'll see yourself) painless, but
  it can't do everything right.  For example, as the toplevel documents
  were completely separate until now, you couldn't directly link from, e.g.
  the library reference to a specific section of the language reference.
  These links will have to be corrected.

  All these tasks to do after conversion are listed in the
  ``doctools/converter/newfiles/TODO`` file, which is copied to the reST
  source tree on conversion.

  All other tasks that are independent of the converter I've collected in


.. [1] Starting with myself: I'm a student of Physics, based in Munich, Germany,
       and am involved with Python development since 2005, and have been hacking
       up the new doctools, together with Armin, since March.

.. [2] Actually, the name comes from the website builder, which is
       called Pyramid.

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