Archive:Docs Project Style Guide - Introduction to Style

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Revision as of 02:54, 26 February 2009

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Introduction to Style

Writing high-quality documents easily understood by multiple readers is a difficult challenge. There are many different techniques that can be used in writing, and there are many different ways of writing the same information. In order to provide consistent, readable documentation, certain standards must be established. There are many different writing style guides that serve different purposes and audiences. Good style is something learned and practiced.

The Fedora Documentation Project is tasked with producing friendly, easy-to-read documentation for a worldwide audience. This means writing clean, clear documents with great attention to differences in cultures and languages. The Fedora Documentation Style Guide outlines specific rules and recommendations for documentation contributors. The style guidelines standardize documentation of both technical and non-technical information, to increase readability and comprehension.

The writers producing Fedora documentation come from a variety of backgrounds, each with different skill sets. Through use of the Fedora Documentation Style Guide, contributors produce and collaborate on documentation with consistent results. This style guide may vary from each contributor's familiar writing requirements. Practicing this guide will eventually become a comfortable standard with benefits outside of Fedora documentation. This style guide will demonstrate the rules and guidelines it sets forth.

The Fedora Documentation Style Guide borrows many ideas from the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style. Any differences from those guides are intended to enhance the value of documents for international readers, and accommodate the technical nature of Fedora documentation. Particular care is made to adopt international standards for common notations to avoid confusion across cultural lines.