wosdocs

Keep On Rockin’ Me Baby

_Well, Ive been looking real hard And Im trying to find a job But it just keeps getting Tougher every day But I got to do my part Cause I know in my heart I got to please my Sweet baby, yeah Steve Miller I’ve been using Banshee for years now and I don’t know how I’d manage my (too) large music collection without it. The Banshee team released 1.7.5 on Tuesday.

GNOME Docs Team meeting tomorrow

What’s that? You follow planet.gnome.org but not news.gnome.org? For shame – we have a blog for the GNOME Documentation team but I guess this once I can cross-post for you. We’re having a meeting tomorrow at 19:00 UTC in #docs on irc.gimp.org to start planning the topics and task for GNOME 3.0. We have big things (like GNOME Shell) to document and lots of little topics to tackle as we break up the old GNOME User Guide and organize it better.

Quack – An update on GNOME 3.0 Help

One of the big improvements for GNOME 3.0 is new user help. The Documentation Team is using Mallard to re-write the GNOME User Guide and a number of applications help files as well. In GNOME today, most help files are written in a very linear structure by chapter using Docbook XML. If you’re a user looking for help, it’s not always easy to find the right chapter that contains the topic you’re looking for help with.

Plan your writing

I’ve been meaning to follow-up on Shaun’s recent bog post about “Explain More” when writing user help. Zonker’s blog post this morning on how to write an interview finally motivated me to get this blog post done. One of my favorite sayings in a work environment is “Plan the work and work the plan”. This applies to writing as well. One of the two major takeaways I had last year after attending the first Writing Open Source conference was the importance of planning.

GNOME Docs Hackfest Part II

Day three of the Writing Open Source conference was our hackfest. I previously showed off Milo’s work in Part I, but it’s probably best to start at the beginning. We started day three by applying some of what we had learned over the first two days. When writing, especially documentation, it is best to plan your work. This includes knowing your audience, their personas, and understanding their needs. Lynda Chiotti, with help from Janet Swisher, led us through a brainstorming exercise.

Docs Team & Community

_(The Ginger Press Cafe where the work, talk and laughter happened at woscon09) _ One of the most important take-aways for me personally from woscon09 were the talks on community. This included Addy’s keynote Friday on herding cats, the challenges that spanned all of our groups, discussion around upstream to downstream and back again, and encouraging new volunteers. With that in mind, we’re making some changes to the Docs team to improve our community involvement.

Writing Open Source

(Inglis Falls, just outside of Owen Sound, Ontario) My head is still spinning after 3 days at woscon09. I learned so much and met so many great people. Over the coming days and weeks I’ll be blogging more about it. Some key things I left with (in no particular order): Know your audience. (True in marketing, and also true in doc writing). Develop personas for your audience. Plan, plan, plan Tons of community management stuff, such as make it easy to get involved, and have tasks ready that are simple (think stuffing envelopes) Speaking of community, we all have similar challenges, no matter the project Mallard exists!