2005-02-24 Ubuntu-doc report

Jeff Schering jeffschering at gmail.com
Fri Feb 25 04:14:03 UTC 2005

On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 00:58:38 +0100, Enrico Zini <enrico at enricozini.org> wrote:
> Welcome to today's Ubuntu-doc report, covering Feb 22 to Feb 24


> This makes me think.  Suppose we are 1.000.000 users.  It's really easy
> for 100.000 of us to see when documentation sucks.  It would be fairly

I would say the number of people who notice when the documentation
sucks is much closer to 1,000,000 than it is to 100,000. Linux
documentation has traditionally been poor or non-existant. Most of it
is written from one programmer to another programmer. However,
programmers and users think much differently from one another. Users
have traditionally had to either conform to the Linux programmers' way
of thinking, or simply give up and stick with Windows(spit).

At least the situation is improving, and the documentation will
eventually be great. The power of freedom...
<snip some true stuff about barriers to participation> 

> With the Documentation Team, I think we're dramatically lowering the
> barrier for people to contribute.  Starting from the DocumentationTeam
> wiki pages we slowly built quite a wealth of guides that could get maybe
> 1.000 of those users into being able to contribute something.
The wiki pages are still a bit disorganized, but it's true that the
information is valuable. I would be willing to bring it all together
into a one-stop shop where potential contributors can find out
everything they need to know. (it took me a couple of hours of
wandering around the wiki to find everything, and I can never remember
which page has which bit of information. Plus they all have the same
title in my browser history: "Ubuntu - wikipage", and I have 7 or 8
separate bookmarks, when 1 or 2 would be real nice.)

Also, a complete style guide and stylesheet would be extremely useful.
> If we keep on this track, I think we're inventing something new, here.
> In a few months, we did a lot.  Now we're polishing up the shiny new
> Quick Guide, which looks to me like a new idea in the free software
> world, and potentially very successful.  The more I read it, the more
> I'd like to have more things like that.[1]
> The QuickGuide is rapidly approaching completion.  I wonder what's going
> to happen next.  I'm confident it's going to be something.
How about this for something: Along with the short description we
already have, we add two or three more things 1) a link to the
application's help file, so that it can be opened directly from the
Quick Guide, 2) a link that opens the application itself, and 3) a
link to the application's home page if there is one.

Is this something that can be done? It's probably too late for Hoary
release. The Quick Guide could evolve and eventually become the main
help file

> Ciao,
> Enrico in the mood of thinking :)

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