DocPatch – patching documents that matter
Who we are
We are part of the Open Data movement and supports the Open Definition. Our way is to ‘hack’ on documents and build Free Software around them – our goal is to bring open data to governments – our idea is to re-publish constitutions, law texts, and any other public documents in a way everyone and everything may use them.
What DocPatch stands for
DocPatch is our platform to provide these documents to you. It relies on some simple tools from software development. The ‘heart’ of this platform is a version control system (vcs) to manage the documents with their complete history and additional meta information. The documents itself are written in a markup language which allows us a) to use any text editor and b) to convert the texts into any format we want.
This is our current tool stack:
- Shell: Bourne-again Shell
- vcs: git
- converter: pandoc
- markup language: pandoc's enhanced version of John Gruber's markdown
These tools are simple to use, but powerful, widely spread, and open. (Even if they won't fit any more in the future, they could be replaced by other, even better tools. For distributing the repositories, the code, the generated documents, and everything else we use some more tools, e.g. web server, operating system,…, but they don't matter for our intended purpose.)
Please visit our website for more information about DocPatch and our goals.
Our first target is the German constitution, called Grundgesetz. First published in March 23th 1949 it was changed round about 60 times. It's interesting to see why it was changed, when, by whom and under what circumstances. The good is: All information is public. The bad: The information doesn't match the Open Definition and many details are hard to find.
Clone the repository to play around with DocPatch:
git clone https://github.com/bheisig/grundgesetz-dev.git
Everthing is under heavy development. Still in progress. Under construction. We need your help to make DocPatch a success!
We are looking for people who create some fancy tools, design a cool website, define more milestones, or simply versionize with us.
Installing DocPatch and its components requires the following dependencies:
- POSIX operating system
git(distributed version control system)
gpg(‘GnuPG’, OpenPGP encryption and signing tool)
pandoc(markup conversion tool)
quilt(patch management tool)
getoptin the version from util-linux or the ‘enhanced’ version. (This is usually preinstalled on Linux and can be obtained as a port for other systems)
After you met all requirements installation is simply done by:
./configure make make install
If you do not want to install to
/usr/local, you must edit the
Makefile after the
make, and adjust the variables
DESTDIR. For installation to
# DESTDIR = WHATEVER # (commented out or empty) prefix = /usr
- Change into the directory there your documents are located.
- Play around with DocPatch ;-)
There are several man pages for more information about using DocPatch:
Please, report any bugs to our issue tracker.
Copyright (C) 2012 Benjamin Heisig. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
- Benjamin Heisig
- Bernhard Físseni
We would like to thank the following people:
And everyone who keeps sending us feedback and improving this project! Thank you :-)