How to write LinuxFocus articles

LinuxFocus is a multilingual, all-volunteer GNU/Linux magazine since 1997. Here you can share your knowledge and experience and have it translated into all languages for which there is an interested translator. In silent or in busy times, your contributions are always most welcome. This magazine is, and has always been, yours.

For editors, translators and any other regular contributor, there is a mailing list. Contact Viktor for details!

For Authors

Just register, get the "author" role by writing to Viktor, and start writing :-)


Below the editing window, you see a list of allowed HTML tags. You can make external or internal (anchor) links, write verbatim (<code>), write in boldface (<strong>), underlined (<u>) or italics (<em>), create numbered or bullet lists, insert images and horizontal lines...

You don't need tags for paragraphs or linebreaks. Just separate paragraphs by an empty line, and enter linebreaks directly where needed. You have two levels for section formatting: <h3> and the smaller <h4>.

The beginning of the article ("summary") should look like the following. Instead of the e-mail address you could also link to your home page or nothing of that kind, as you wish.

<em>by [author's name] &lt;author(AT);, in January 2010 (article #nnn). Translated by [translator's name] &lt;translator(AT);</em>

Here you write an abstract of your article, which will be visible on the front page. If you want, feel free to include a little image.

To turn your h3 headings into a nice little "table of contents" box like the one above, write this: [toc]. (This is Drupal's Table Of Contents module.)

And at the end, please write us a short line about yourself. If you want, add a photo.

<h5>The authors</h5>
<img src="your-picture.jpg" class="floatLeft">
Some lines about you :-)

You can enter accents and non-European symbols directly or by their HTML name or Unicode number. As in HTML, there are few symbols that cannot be entered directly: the symbols for lesser or greater (&lt; and &gt; - also for escaping HTML tags in <code> blocks) and the ampersand (&amp;).

In order to have text floating around little images, add class="floatLeft" or class="floatRight" to the IMG tag.

For some verbatim words within a paragraph, use the CODE tag.

But for a separate block of program code like this, use the PRE tag.

If the generated HTML code for your article passes the W3 Validator, even our most picky readers will be happy. If you encounter any problems or think that a tag is missing, contact the editor!

Where's my article?

If you started an article that has not yet been published, and you want to continue editing it later, the way to find it is not obvious. Click "Administer", "Content Management", "Translation Overview". Filter for "unpublished" nodes. There you'll find what you started.

For Translators

Drupal, our web site system, knows about different translations of the same articles. When you're logged in, you have a very handy overview about articles and their translation status: Go to Administer → Content management → Translation overview. You can start a new translation either from there or from the article in question: click on "Translate". You'll get the whole source of the article so that you can leave the formatting and just translate the content. Of course, if you prefer, you can copy the whole original text in your favourite text editor and paste it later back!

For Editors

Front page

For the front page for your language, create a "translation" of the English front page. This is a normal Drupal "page", with a trick: The teasers for the articles are generated automatically from the database. Technically speaking, you include a "View" into your page (using the "Insert View" module). In practice, you just include a line like
replacing "en" with your language. In the resulting page, you'll even have the news feed.

You'll just have the articles for which a translation into your language exists, and which have been published.

Once you have set up your front page, tell Viktor so he can add a "language link" at the top!

Publishing of articles

A registered Author or Translator can create pages, but for publishing them, you need the Editor role. If you use the "View" on your front page as described above, only published articles will appear there. Not only does an unpublished article not appear on the front page or in the news feed, there is also no link for it. Only the creator and the editors can access it via the administrative interface.


To have a unique thread of discussion where the author can react as well, it is suggested to have comments only in English and to disable them on the translations.