Please tutor a crash course on Docs Project tools & workflow.

Christopher Antila crantila at
Thu Jan 20 22:56:23 UTC 2011

Hello Jesus and everybody:

I encourage the creation of this "crash course" document. Even though
I've written a Guide and continue to update it periodically, I forget
how to use the Docs tools, and I certainly remember how intimidating it
was when I first started.

I also think that we need more people, as you say, to contribute "for
real to Fedora top-projects." The Guides collectively have many
opportunities for improvement. It's not that the Guide owners don't know
about these possible improvements, but that we don't have enough time to
make all of the possible optimizations between releases. Additional "for
real" contributors would be a significant advantage.

I'm not sure what you're asking, Jesus, but if you propose writing the
document yourself, then go ahead and get started! If you would like help
with specific tasks, like to make sure that a particular chapter is
correct, you can ask for help on this mailing list.

As a more general observation, I wonder if a stronger QA ("Quality
Assurance") process would help with this problem. I know that some
Guides have QA contacts, but for others Bugzilla simply gives this
mailing list, and some (like the Musicians' Guide) have no QA contact
whatsoever. Lack of an active QA process means that, if a contributor
makes a mistake, it won't be noticed until after release - and that's
understandably intimidating.


On Thu, 2011-01-20 at 12:00 +0000, docs-request at
> ...
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 08:24:45 +0000 (UTC)
> From: Jes?s Franco <tezcatl at>
> Subject: Please tutor a crash course on Docs Project tools & workflow.
> To: docs at
> Message-ID: <pan.2011. at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Hi Docs team.
> I've read on last meeting-minutes the action item about getting someone 
> to leader the RelNotes writing. There is a lot of talk lately too about 
> getting more people into contributing for real to Fedora top-projects.
> But i think this is not an area than marketing can manage just by making 
> Fedora look friendly and open to all. I've read since i joined to Docs 
> project a lot of people (just like me), willing to join, and no matter 
> how much is said "don't worry, if you broke something we can fix it"; 
> it's simply overwhelming the idea of doing things bad since many times we 
> don't know the way of doing things the right way.
> We need to learn how to make successfully what we'd like to. And no, there 
> is no just matter of time or reading the bunch of pages under Docs 
> category in the wiki. You know a lot of there is outdated and it becomes 
> confusing when you read an updated page and kindly someone corrects and 
> says: "It's outdated". A big WTF. (That's why i don't like mediawiki).
> This is happening because we are not the number of qualified people we 
> would like to be. But we can.
> I'm working on a Draft for an introductory crash course to Docs Project, 
> based on practical workshops to learn the basic of Publican, *git*, and 
> the workflow preferred by the actual contributors.
> The goals of this course, would be:
> 0) Acquiring practical dominion of that tools, letting more people feel 
> confident to join to the Docs project.
> 1) Recruiting more people to work into real tasks of Docs Project.
> Forgive my references to gaming.
> World 1 
> ***Tutorial level. We need for first class...***
> * Make a schedule than effectively can let people to commit minor tasks 
> with Publican/git, since first class.
> * A main tutor able to run at least one-and-a-half hour class on IRC, 
> showing folks how to produce their first Doc with the minimum hassle.
> * People able to join to gobby writing of the first article of folks, to 
> help tutor in fixing mistakes people will fail (something like paired 
> programming driver-navigator).
> For folks unable to join to classroom session (and who can't finish the 
> first world at first attempt).
> * More people helping the tutor in helping people (it can be via ML) to 
> solve issues they (we) will face for sure at their first attempt.
> * Also, people answering questions the students will confront sharing 
> their patches, and troubleshooting whatever error they will found.
> We can encourage students too, to helping each other via the ML, and 
> getting into the thread just for fix minor mistakes.
> Following the games analogy:
> Level 1 would be actually writing with succes their first DocBook article.
> Level 2 uploading to a git repo.
> Level 3 taking another people article and suggesting changes via a patch.
> Level 4 applying the patch and adding collaborators. (er, optional?)
> Level 5 sharing their experience and figuring out what official guide 
> they'd like to contribute.
> World 2.
> This time the challenge would be:
> * Choose a Docs top-document (Release Notes is my first candidate) to 
> give people the chance to get into the real workflow of Docs project.
> We would combine again at least a synchronous session and the heavy load 
> could be conducted through ML/bugzilla and work with repos/branches.
> I'm not so clear about that, so i'd like you really give feedback to:
> Course_for_New_Contributors#Second_week.2C_explore_into_the_jungle
> ==== Too much changes? Naah ====
> If you read carefully, we could load a bunch of people into ML and maybe 
> messing into bugs and patches (and always has been said that's fine, 
> since we always can clean the house, right?); Apart from the classroom 
> meetings via IRC/Gobby, we wouldn't take much more work than today. Just 
> compare that to the steps to join L10N and Ambassadors teams*.
> The real difference is we could arrange by some weeks people learning 
> together and working with Guide owners and experimented people, hopefully 
> giving them (us) a more solid scale to jump into Docs boat than sending 
> them to find the bit into the mess of Docs category in the wiki.
> Also, everything of this experience should be stored as an updated 
> reference for people unable to join at the first invitation. I'm 
> confident than this would be something similar to writing code from 
> scratch in a cleaner and fresh way, than trying to fix overbloated code 
> with too many patches acumulated over the time.
> And i'm pretty sure all that experience could be summarized and rearranged 
> as an actual course in a way people could follow the manual and becoming 
> more able to join Docs project and getting their hands dirty.
> You can fire to me now ;)
> Best regards.
> --
> Jesus Franco
> Fedora Ambassador and Translator
> P.S. I don't say translators and Ambassadors can't become better and rich 
> higher levels in the quality of our contributions (I don't believe in 
> number of strings translated just because Google seems easier than 
> actually checking our translations). Just than those teams don't look so 
> intimidating and it's lot of easier growing into them step by step.

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