We've built a new home for CiviCRM's documentation. Here's a quick run down of what we've done, why we've done it, and how you can help with the move.
First, a quick recap of our documentation's long and illustrious history:
Pretty much all our documentation started long ago on our trusted wiki. Our wiki is great, but like all wikis, a bit messy and a bit incomplete. A few years later (starting in 2009) a concerted effort was made to 'finish' our user documentation - to write a complete book on how to use CiviCRM, the result of which was the CiviCRM user guide, hosted on a different platform: Flossmanuals. Flossmanuals was very good to us. We were able to complete a book that covers pretty much everything that you can do via the user interface, which was a big step forward. And it got us in the habit of running one or two books sprints a year, which has enabled us to keep our user documentation up to date with each release (woo!). But Flossmanuals has had...Read more
If you haven't checked it out yet, the CiviCRM Stack Exchange is a Q&A site where folks can get free support for using CiviCRM.
It's simple to use - ask a question, get answers. Users vote on both questions and answers, and there's no chit-chat, just answers. You earn reputation points when people vote for your questions and answers. Many top CiviCRM experts use the site and answer questions.
If you're looking for a way to support the CiviCRM community with minimal investment, using the site is a great way to do it! Asking a good question - or upvoting someone else's good answer - both help to improve the quality of CiviCRM support. We're also looking to increase our Stack Exchange traffic so our site is promoted to the top tier of exchanges. So if you've visited before, now's a great time to visit again.
Take a look today - take the 60 second tour or...Read more
A while ago I did a test migration of CiviCRM's user and admin documentation to gitbook and said that I'd also do a migration to readthedocs so we could compare the two. I finally got round to completing the readthedocs migration so wanted to share with you some impressions so far, the advantages and disadvantages are of both systems.
Spoiler alert: At the moment, I think we should go with readthedocs. If you're interested in the reasons and the gory details, keep on reading - I would love you have your thoughts and opinions.
Most of the work consisted of creating a script to convert from gitbook to readthedocs. It's not pretty but it works and means that if we decide to go with readthedocs, it will be simple for us to convert the latest gitbooks version over to readthedocs (and that we can continue editing the book in gitbook format until we...Read more
I have just completed the first cookbook on CiviRules, with 2 basic examples and an example on how to automatically classify donors based on their contributing behaviour. Have a look, any comment is highly appreciated :-)
The CiviRules extension is in the CiviCRM extension list (https://civicrm.org/extensions/civirules) and on GitHub (https://github.com/CiviCooP/org.civicoop.civirules)
Find out how to use all the new 4.6 features and read the re-vamped Events chapter at http://gitbook.civicrm.org/.
First the formalities...
Thank you to the people who contributed to this update including Joanne Chester, Maya Gibb, Roshani Kothari, Michael McAndrew, Joe Murray, Kate Sneed, Galata Tona and any others I have forgotten to mention.
Now for an explanation...
As Michael outlined in a recent blog we have been looking for a new home for our User and administrator guide with GitBook and Read The Docs being the strong contenders. Reading Michael's blog you should have gained the impression that we were near the start of an evaluation phase with various issues still to resolve, and that we were looking for input from the rest of the Civi community;...Read more
For a while we have been thinking about some new infrastructure for CiviCRM's user and administrator documentation. We'd like to move the guide somewhere that has better support for more of the features that we want, which include
- simple user interface that makes it easy for people to contribute
- produces clean source code
- produces a 'good looking' html version of the book
- ability to export to different format (including ebook and pdf and output suitable for traditional publishing)
- version control so that people can work on different 'branches' of the documentation at the same time (that we can merge independently when ready for publication)
- translation infrastructure, so that our language communities can easily create different language versions of the manual, and can easily keep these up to date when the manual is updated
- can handle growing documentation needs (including end user documentation...
Q: Want to help the new CiviCRM StackExchange site succeed, but don't have spare time/brainpower for answering difficult questions?
A: That's okay! It turns out that the one thing this fledgling site needs the most is also the easiest thing you can do. Voting!
Why Voting Helps our Site
If you visit our beta health stats you'll see that our site has an excellent number of daily questions and a pretty good number of answers. But we're falling short on:
> Number of users with 200+ rep
> Number of users with 2000+ rep
https://civicrm.stackexchange.com/ is launched in beta and thriving as a place to ask and answer questions about CiviCRM. The benefit of the Q&A format is that good questions and good answers can get voted up, and better serve as an expert repository of our community's experience. Search rankings will soon be able to find good relevant answers to everyone's beginner and expert support and development questions.
Already we're averaging 10.9 questions per day, which is more than the 9.9 new topics started per day in http://forum.civicrm.org during the first quarter of 2015. 267 people have asked questions with a score of 1 or more, and 123 people have posted an answer that earned a +1 score or above. More than 90 percent of questions are answered, which is a healthy beta. There are over 550 users after two months, and 40 have asked or answered enough questions to get...Read more
Whether you're just getting started with customizing CiviCRM or you already think you know everything about it, I invite you to spend a few minutes playing with the new API Explorer in 4.6. You'll be glad you did.
Building on Xavier's great previous work (thanks X for writing the original explorer) I rewrote the interface in 4.5 to reflect new api techniques and take advantage of new user-friendly UI widgets like select2. In 4.6 I've added even more goodies, so be sure to upgrade when it is released - some of the features listed below (marked with a *) are only in 4.6.
Interactive option lists
No need to type in secret codes, you can...Read more
Having gone on long car journeys with young children before the ACPED (Age of Cheap Personal Electronic Devices), I am very familiar with “Are we there yet?” Now I usually only hear it in my head as I try to make light of the longer than 12-hour flights I have to endure as an Australian who likes to attend CiviCon. Lately, however, it is there whenever I visit the CiviCRM Area 51 site on Stack Exchange. I want to be at the “beta” phase when we will actually be able to ask and answer questions.
We have a positive start with 253 people committed to using the new site. However we need 100 committers with a reputation of 200 or more on another SE site before we can transition to “beta”. We have only 61.
Michael McAndrew thinks we will get the extra 39 experienced committers we need, but “it will take a while”. Ever the pessimist, I am not sure it will happen unless more of our existing...Read more