More work on the desktop help?

Gunnar Hjalmarsson gunnarhj at
Fri Sep 30 20:24:13 UTC 2016

Hi Chris,

First I want to let others know that you already kickstarted the work
with the 17.04 desktop guide. Two bugs fixed even if 16.10 is not yet
released. Thank you for that. Great work!

On 2016-09-27 21:04, Chris Perry wrote:
> Can I do some more work on the desktop help?

Yes, of course. The desktop guide is constantly in a work in progress
state. Since the Ubuntu desktop is changing continuously, the desktop
guide will never be finished.

One approach is to simply pick existing pages or sections of pages of
your choice, check that they are still relevant and accurate, and
propose the changes you find motivated. Another thing is asking
yourself: Is there any topic which is missing? If you find there is, I
think it's a good idea to bring the idea for new page(s) up to this list
for discussion before doing too much work.

One thing worth mentioning is that many, maybe most of the pages in the
Ubuntu desktop guide origin from GNOME Help. Many of the corresponding
pages at GNOME have changed since the version we once 'merged' into the
Ubuntu desktop guide. Consequently, when checking existing pages which
origin from GNOME, one natural step is to compare with the latest GNOME
version and 'sync' if applicable. (Take
<> as an example of what I'm talking

In an attempt to organize the work, we have occasionally made use of a
spreadsheet which lists all the desktop guide pages:

Maybe we should add a tab for the Z series (possibly copy the remarks
from Xenial, which were made relatively recently).

But while using such a spreadsheet is a way to document which pages got
our attention lately, the bug tracker is the principal tool for keeping
track of identified issues. Let me take a trivial example: When
completing the Swedish translations for yakkety, I found that some
original strings of a page were obsolete. At that time it was too late
to change the original content for yakkety, so I filed the bug report
mentioned above in order to remember it. (And now you've fixed it.)

So let's file bugs! (And fix them also...)

Talking about bugs, there are a couple of dozen of those which are still
open. Some of them are several years old. Typically the old open bugs
are not trivial to fix; there is often a need to do some research. Such
research is part of working with the desktop guide, so don't hesitate to
get your teeth into one of those bugs.

> I had a look at the middle-click bug #1617718 but I don't think it's
> possible to do an update until Canonical give the official word on
> how it works.

That's a good example of a bug where research is needed; in this case we
need expertise input.

> Possibly the Security & Privacy bug #1200381? However, most of
> Security & Privacy looks very straightforward, so the help might be
> in danger of adding nothing (to what the user can already see on the
> tabs)?

Yeah, I hear that you don't think it's a high priority bug, and
personally I agree.

> For anyone interested in contributing to the desktop help the 
> documentation is here (link below). The process is mostly 
> straightforward - though I got confused when trying to use the 
> revision control system (Bazaar).

My impression is that you have a good grasp of the basics by now. You
hadn't worked with a version control system before, and there is a
learning curve. When you stumbled on a few things, you asked by private
mail, and that's perfectly fine.

Since you mentioned that guide, I'd like to ask you to consider if there
is room for improvements. You just submitted your first merge proposals,
so it's a perfect time to use that experience as a base for adjusting
the guide if necessary.

Last but not least: Keep taking initiatives like you've done so far, and
keep asking questions.

Thanks for joining the documentation team!

Gunnar Hjalmarsson

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