Fedora Documentation Style Guide

Patrick W. Barnes nman64 at n-man.com
Tue Jul 4 09:45:51 UTC 2006

Between the assorted websites and documents of the Fedora Project, we have 
many different writing styles in use, and we have many documents that have 
different styles within them or contain many simple errors.  Our established 
Documentation Guide features a chapter on style, but it doesn't go into the 
sort of depth that we really need, and I don't know that it really should.

As such, I have begun work on a new Fedora Documentation Style Guide.  This 
will become a comprehensive guide to style that will answer many questions, 
including some that haven't even been asked, about the writing style that 
should be used for Fedora's documentation and websites.


I intend to refer heavily to the Associated Press Stylebook, the Chicago 
Manual of Style, the existing Documentation Guide, the GNOME Documentation 
Style Guide, the style guides of a few universities and assorted other 

At this time, I would be happy to accept specific suggestions for this guide.  
I'll be bringing questions to this list as I get further into the writing.  
There are a few style decisions that I believe we should make as a team.  At 
first, this document will probably reflect my own writing style very 
strongly, so if anything about my writing style bothers you, now is the time 
to point it out to me.  ;-)

One of the first points we might address would be the proper location of 
punctuation with quotations or parenthesis.  I often place periods and commas 
outside of such blocks (like this), rather than inside.  I find this better 
suited for technical writing, since it avoids accidental inclusion of that 
punctuation where it doesn't belong, but I realize that it is a bit 
non-standard.  When the punctuation is actually a part of the block, I do 
include it inside the block, because that's "doing the right thing."  

I was a bit torn about where to put this draft, and selected a sub-page of the 
DocsProject page.  It can be moved later, but I felt that this was the most 
appropriate location, since this document will be targeted at the 
Documentation team and not at the community as a whole.  If others have 
competing viewpoints, I don't have my heart set on this location.  ;-)

Patrick "The N-Man" Barnes
nman64 at n-man.com



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