I personally don't see why it's important to use markup, markdown, word
The main thing is to make it easy to contribute. People don't want to learn
more than they need to in order to contribute. Expecting them to is
completely stupid. Do the most amount of work with the least amount of effort
is always the best way of doing things. As such, people won't want to learn
any special formatting language just to write something they can do in a word
processor. That's what they already know.
Having people contribute stuff and having us format it into markdown would be
more effort for us. Provide them an ODT they can open at home and they can
format it themselves. Of course, that doesn't take into account stupidity,
but we can make guidelines for that so things we get are sensible enough that
it minimizes effort of correcting it.
If we do use some sort of markup, I think MediaWiki would be our best bet.
That's what Wikipedia uses, so most people will already be familiar with it.
We could even set one up separate from the main wiki just for the manuals. If
we keep the database and files completely separate, it shouldn't be too hard
to delete it later if we decide to.
The main problem either case is converting it to whatever other format. PDFs
shouldn't be a problem. But then there will be formatting them for the TDE
Help system, and HTML.
Since I already know enough HTML to do normal documentation, and I already
have an IDE that I'm well adjusted to, I wouldn't mind helping on that
respect. I can also help writing the manuals. If I have to learn something
new to do that when I can easily do it with what I already know, count me
Ark Linux webmaster