Three questions that I have for anyone from the Ubuntu Documentation team that may be attending this are: 1. What is the lag time between when a version is released, and your documentation is up (especially the basics of using the version)? 2. When do you start creating the documentation for the version (for example, when will you start creating the documenation for "Q")? 3. What other things do you do to reduce the lag time?

  • Target group of the manual: beginners. The Ubuntu-docs are not specifically meant for beginners and have a different approach, so they are mutually exclusive.
  • For the Precise version see milestones on Launchpad https://launchpad.net/ubuntu-manual/precise. Planned release is June 30.

  • Workflow: for the manual we work with many authors and editors. Each chapter gets an author/editor assigned to it. See our spreadsheet. We expect to have the first draft, screenshots included, completed by May 31. Then editors have two weeks to review/correct, after which we release a draft for public comment and proofreading.
  • Format: the final pdf file is generated from .tex files. Authors/editors add latex code to their chapters. Then a pdf file is made based on the collection of .tex files.
  • Our website: (ubuntu-manual.org) here newcomers (authors/editors/translators) can read how they can contribute. There are instructions on how to install Bazaar, LaTeX, make screenshots. There is a separate styleguide that explains all the Latex code that is needed for our manual.
  • IRC meetings and mailing list: we plan irc meetings whenever necessary (especially when we start with a new version). We also communicate via the mailing list. It is very important that we use the list to keep each other informed about the content and to answer any questions that contributors may have.
  • Future: as long as we have enough enthousiastic contributors, all volunteers!, we will publish a manual for each Ubuntu version. There are plans to further develop Quickshot, a tool that helps authors and translators to make the right screenshots. If we can find developers to do the job, we can share this tool with the ubuntu-docs team in the future, should they be interested. It would be a good idea to work together with the ubuntu-docs team, like exchanging ideas, improving the workflow, promoting documentation etc.
  • Integrated into Ubuntu universe or potentially supported package? Ubuntu 12.04.1 point release?
  • LTS focus vs. regular 6-month release - it may be better to focus on LTS releases with polish if volunteer numbers drop or have a focus group on the LTS 2nd/later editions. Translated versions would be much easier to complete and maintain in an LTS focussed environment.
  • We'd also like to redesign our website and welcome interested web developers to contact us for more information. Our current website is fairly static and difficult to update.
  • Finally, we'd like to explore options for improving the translation process. The primary issue with the Launchpad translation system is that it doesn't gracefully handle minor updates in the source files (i.e., fuzzy translations). This prevents us from allowing incremental translations and we must impose a writing freeze before translators can begin their work. The translators must then duplicate all their work with each new edition of the manual. We have some ideas for improving this process and would love to hear from some interested web developers (both front-end [HTML, CSS, Javascript] and backend [Python / PHP / etc.]).

UbuntuManual-UDS-Q (last edited 2012-05-09 14:37:41 by jpickett)