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Contributing

To contribute to the Void documentation, please read the following. Pull requests that do not meet the criteria described below will not be merged. Before submitting a PR:

  • try to address as many of the criteria as possible; and
  • run the check.sh script provided in the repository root, addressing any issues it reports.

This will improve the chances of your contribution being accepted quickly.

Contents

Suitable content

The Handbook is not intended to be a general guide to using a Linux system, as noted in the "About" section:

This handbook is not an extensive guide on how to use and configure common Linux software. The purpose of this document is to explain how to install, configure, and maintain Void Linux systems, and to highlight the differences between common Linux distributions and Void ...

Those looking for tips and tricks on how to configure a Linux system in general should consult upstream software documentation. Additionally, the Arch Wiki provides a fairly comprehensive outline of common Linux software configuration, and a variety of internet search engines are available for further assistance.

Thus, we are unlikely to accept contributions which add information that is not particularly Void-specific.

Style Guide

This style guide outlines the standards for contributing to the Handbook. The manual on https://docs.voidlinux.org is generated from an mdBook stored in the void-docs repository.

General

Although there will always be cases where command listings are appropriate, the contents of the Handbook should be written in American English.

Outside of the 'installation' sections, step-by-step instructions containing 'magic' commands for copying-and-pasting are strongly discouraged. Users are expected to read the canonical documentation (e.g. man pages) for individual programs to understand how to use them, rather than relying on copying-and-pasting.

Command code-blocks should not be used to describe routine tasks documented elsewhere in this Handbook. For example, when writing documentation for the foo package, do not provide a command code-block stating that one should install it via xbps-install foo. Similarly, do not provide code blocks describing how to enable the foo service.

Formatting

For markdown formatting, the void-docs project uses the Versioned Markdown format, and enforces use of the auto-formatter vmdfmt, which works very similarly to gofmt. Most valid markdown is accepted by the formatter. The output format is described in the project's README.

After installing the vmdfmt package, you can format a file by running:

vmdfmt -w <filepath>

To format the entire mdbook from the repository root, outputting a list of files modified, run:

vmdfmt -w -l <filepath>

vmdfmt is used by the void-docs repository's check.sh script, which must be run locally before submitting a pull request.

Commands

Command code-blocks should start with a # or $ character, indicating whether the command should be run as root or a regular user, respectively.

For example:

# vi /etc/fstab

and not:

$ sudo vi /etc/fstab

and also not:

vi /etc/fstab

Command code-blocks should be introduced with a colon (':'), i.e.:

For example:

$ ls -l

Placeholders

Placeholders indicate where the user should substitute the appropriate information. They should use angle brackets (< and >) and contain only lower-case text, with words separated by underscores. For example:

# ln -s /etc/sv/<service_name> /var/service/

and not:

# ln -s /etc/sv/[SERVICENAME] /var/service/

Links

Link text should not include sentence-level punctuation. For example:

[Visit this site](https://example.org).

and not:

[Visit this site.](https://example.org)

Internal links

Links to other sections of the Handbook must be relative. For example:

[example](./example.md#heading-text)

and not:

[example](example.md#heading-text)

When referring literally to a Handbook section, the section title should be placed in double-quotes. Otherwise, double-quotes are not required. For example:

For more information, please read the "[Power Management](./power-management.md)" section.

and

Void provides facilities to assist with [power management](./power-management.md).

Man Page Links

The first reference to a command or man page must be a link to the relevant man page on https://man.voidlinux.org/.

The link text must contain the title section number in parenthesis, and contain no formatting. For example: man(1), not man(1).

Auto Links

Auto links (links with the same title as URL) should use the following notation:

<https://www.example.com/>

They should not be formatted like this:

[https://www.example.com/](https://www.example.com/)

Checking links

If you're including new links (either internal or external) in the docs or changing the current file structure, you should make use of the mdbook-linkcheck package:

$ mdbook-linkcheck -s

This will verify all the references, and warn you if there are any issues. If any link you're using is correct but generating errors for some reason, you can add its domain to the exclude list in book.toml, under the [mdbook.linkcheck] key.

mdbook-linkcheck is used by the void-docs repository's check.sh script, which must be run locally before submitting a pull request.

Redirects

When changing a section name, or moving a section to a different part of the Handbook, a redirect must be added to the [output.html.redirect] section in book.toml, e.g.

"/example.html" = "/new-location/example.html"

Case

Proper nouns outside of code blocks should use the casing of official information sources: e.g. 'runit' not 'Runit', 'DKMS' not 'dkms', 'GRUB' not 'Grub' or 'grub', etc. In general, abbreviations should be upper-cased: 'CPU' for central processing unit, 'SSD' for solid state drive, 'UI' for user interface, etc.

Handbook filenames and directories should use kebab case when splitting words. For example the filename should be post-install.md not postinstall.md. Words that are part of trademarks or well-known package names are exempt from this rule: for example, PulseAudio and NetworkManager are well-known by their camel-case names.

Voice

Prefer the active imperative voice when writing documentation. Consider the following examples:

Now we need to install the CUPS drivers and configure them.

This version is conversational and friendlier, but contains unnecessary language that may not be as clear to an ESL reader.

Install and configure the CUPS drivers, then configure them as shown.

This version contains a clear command to act, and a follow up that shows what will be done next. It is clear both to native English speakers, ESL readers, and to translators.

Warnings

Warnings should begin with **Warning**:, and should not be block-quoted with >. For example, the Markdown should look like:

**Warning**: Selecting the wrong option will set your printer on fire.

and not:

> WARNING: Selecting the wrong option will set your printer on fire.

Notes

Notes should only be used sparingly, and for non-critical information. They should begin with a phrase such as "Note that ..." or "It should be noted that ... ", and not be block-quoted with >. For example, the Markdown should look like:

Note that you can also use program X for this purpose.

and not:

> You can also use program X for this purpose.

Block quotes

Block quotes (i.e. >) should only be used to quote text from an external source.

Submitting Changes

Proposed changes should be submitted as pull requests to the void-docs repository on GitHub. Please note that, unlike a wiki, submissions will be reviewed before they are merged. If any changes are required they will need to be made before the pull request is accepted. This process is in place to ensure the quality and standards of the Handbook are sustained.

Requirements

To clone the repository and push changes, git(1) is required. It can be installed via the git package.

Building the Handbook locally requires mdBook, which can be installed via the mdBook package.

Forking

To fork the repository a GitHub account is needed. Once you have an account, follow GitHub's guide on setting up a fork.

Clone the repository onto your computer, enter it, and create a new branch:

$ git clone https://github.com/<your_username>/void-docs.git
$ cd void-docs
$ git checkout -b <branch_name>

You can then edit the repository files as appropriate.

Making changes

To serve the docs locally and view your changes, run mdbook serve from the root of the repository.

Once you're satisfied with your changes, run the check.sh script provided in the repository root. This will run the vmdfmt command, which will wrap the text appropriately, and the mdbook-linkcheck command, which will check for broken links. Address any issues raised by check.sh.

Once check.sh runs without errors, push your changes to your forked repository:

$ git add <edited_file(s)>
$ git commit -m "<commit_message>"
$ git push --set-upstream origin <branch_name>

The commit message should be in the form <filename>: <description_of_changes>.

Pull requests should only contain a single commit. If a change is made after the initial commit, git add the changed files and then run git commit --amend. The updated commit will need to be force-pushed: git push --force.

If multiple commits are made they will need to be squashed into a single commit with git rebase -i HEAD~X, where X is the number of commits that need to be squashed. An editor will appear to choose which commits to squash. A second editor will appear to choose the commit message. See git-rebase(1) for more information. The updated commit will need to be force-pushed: git push --force.