Writing and updating BRL-CAD's documentation becomes easier when you understand how to obtain and modify the source files for the documentation.
Note: For more information about creating and modifying documentation, refer to the chapter Working with Our Documentation earlier in this book.
The documentation and the toolchain required to generate the documentation is part of the software's development code. You should download the source code from the Subversion version control system using the following command:
svn checkout svn://svn.code.sf.net/p/brlcad/code/brlcad/trunk brlcad-code
The directory brlcad-code should be within your /home directory so that BRL-CAD's build directory commands don't interfere with your system's commands.
While BRL-CAD comes with the tools for generating HTML files and UNIX man pages, you will need additional software to generate PDF files. That software is called Apache FOP, and you can download it from the FOP project's website (http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/fop/). The FOP website also has instructions for installing and configuring FOP to run on your system.
Next, you must set up the build directory and configure the compilation. This will also set up the tools that you need to generate the documentation. Do that by running the following command.
cmake ../brlcad_build -DBRLCAD_BUILD_TYPE=Debug
Once you've configured the compilation, you'll need to run the following build targets to generate the documentation:
You can find the source files for the documentation in the following directories in the BRL-CAD source code repository:
You can find more information about editing the documentation in the chapter Working with Our Documentation earlier in this book.
Joining both lists helps introduce you the the BRL-CAD community and gives you the opportunity to regularly communicate with other experienced contributors. You can also ask questions on the mailing list or the IRC channel.
BRL-CAD contributors have a set of rules that they try to respect and follow to enable collaboration and communication. We strongly encourage new contributors to be creative and to be specific when asking questions on the mailing list or on the IRC channel. We also strongly advise you to use interleaved posting when replying on any communication channels. And once again, don't be afraid to ask questions.
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