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PDL Book

Zakariyya Mughal edited this page Jan 5, 2015 · 3 revisions


You Can Help!

This page is for contributors to help develop excellent PDL book. You don't need to be an expert writer to help. You don't even need to spend a lot of time!

How to help

The PDL book follows a simple review process. Each chapter has a maintainer. Anybody can review a chapter and send suggestions to the maintainer. A chapter is considered "published" when the author and two reviewers agree that it is.

Being a reviewer is a gret way to help! You don't need a lot of time or expertise. Surely you can just read a chapter and tell the maintainer which parts were confusing. That is something anybody can do and it is extremely valuable.

Are you a PDL expert? Great! You can review chapters for accuracy.

Are you a PDL newbie? Great! You can tell us if the chapters are clear.

Of course, we also need maintainers willing to write or maintain a chapter. Without chapters being written, there would be no chapters to review!

How to be a reviewer

  1. Go down to the section "Table of Contents". Pick any chapter that says "review needed".
  2. Change the status to "in progress" and add your name.
  3. Review the chapter and write to the mailing list with your suggestions. Use the subject title: "Review for [Maintainer]".

Why post to the list? Because it's good for other people to see the work being done. It makes people realize that there IS work being done, and gives them a chance to contribute as well.

How to be a maintainer

First, you probably need to have commit access to the to the git tree, or at least send patches to someone who can commit the patches for you.

  1. Go to either the section "Table of Contents" and look for any chapter that says "TODO" or "maintainer needed".
  2. Change the status to "in progress" and add your name as the maintainer.
  3. When you want a review, change the status to "review needed". Then write to the list asking for reviews.

How to publish a chapter

To publish a chapter means that in some sense, the chapter is "finished". It means that the chapter is complete and of good quality. So how do we publish a chapter?

  1. Change the status to "publication requested". Then write to the list.
  2. If two people look at the chapter and agree that it's finished, change the status to "published".

General Notes


PDL's documentation is written in POD. This is a very easy to use documentation format designed to make documentation very easy to write. POD is portable, it can be converted to various formats, and it integrates well with PDL's online help and the Padre IDE.

Source tree

At the moment, the PDL book is located in the pdl-book Git repo.

Table of Contents

NOTE: This is just my first stab at writing a decent table of contents. This is all just an idea. Please write to the list and discuss.



  • Standard installation [Your Name Here - TODO]

  • Manual installation [Your Name Here - TODO]

Migration guide

Basic features


  • Overview [Your Name Here - TODO]

  • PGPLOT [Matthew Kenworthy - Maintainer]

  • PLplot [Your Name Here - TODO]

  • 3D Plotting [Your Name Here - TODO]

Advanced Features

  • PDL Pre-Processor [Your Name Here - TODO]

  • API [Your Name Here - TODO]


  • Appendix 1: Frequently asked Questions [Your Name Here - Maintainer Needed]

  • Appendix 2: Tips and Howtos [Your Name Here - Maintainer Needed]

  • Example 1: Conway's Game of Life [Your Name Here - TODO]

  • Example 2: N-Body problem [Your Name Here - TODO]

External Resources

These are resources that are separate from the POD documentation, but could form the basis of new chapters in the PDL book:

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