We've tackled a fair amount of work at the recent Apeldoorn and Butcombe documentation sprints. As well as documenting pretty much all of the new features for 4.2 (including SMS) - special thanks to Simon West for doing so much of that - we've made some significant improvements to our infrastructure, reviewed a few sections in the book, and added a number of areas of work to the documentation road map. It feels like we are getting into a good rhythm these days with a book sprint every 6 months enabling us to keep fairly up to date with the release cycle. Never the less, the list of things to do keeps on expanding, and there is certainly lots more that we (and the we includes you!) need to do do to improve our documentation.
Every book sprint is unique and different to the last...Read more
We're at the book and documentation sprint out at the very lovely Woolman Centre near Nevada city in California. A sub group of us have taken on the mighty task of analysing how the wiki content sits with the book content. We're focusing on the User and Administrator guide at the moment, which is online at http://book.civicrm.org/user/.
What we're doing, is each taking a section of the book at a time, then going through the wiki - http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC and finding all related content.
We're then labelling the wiki pages in 2 ways:
1. According to which section of the book the page corresponds to e.g. 'basic-set-up' or 'events'.
2. An indication of the relationship between the wiki page and the book. One of the following 4 labels:
We're wrapping up the London code sprint today. We've done a decent amount of book review, which will stand us in good stead when we get to Woolman and we've also made some minor improvements to the books at book.civicrm.org.
Books now have a 'breadcrumb' which show you what section you are reading and they also have proper titles, which should make them more visible when people are googling for help.
It would be great to hear other ideas for improving the publication process.
My number one improvement would be some form of funky jquery commenting system would be great if you want to suggest one. I'd also like to get rid of the enforced caps in sections and chapters in the menu (which is also reflected in the page title).
Feel free to download and play around with the publishing script (it is pretty easy to get to grips...Read more
We're doing a fair amount of work on the book review at the London sprint. It would be cool to have others involved (remotely or in person). If you want to help out then
- come along to CAN Mezzanine (let us know if you are coming) or
- jump on IRC and say hello (during London friendly hours) or
- subscribe to the book list and send us an email.
The best places to start and orient yourself are:
You might also want to read through...Read more
If you have a look back over the documentation (previously book sprint) blog tag, you'll see that over the past few months we have been making slow and steady improvements to our documentation. We've moved the books over to CiviCRM.org and clarified the relationship between the book and the wiki. It has been pretty fun so far, but there is still lots to do, one of which is a decent review of the user and admin guide...
After the last book sprint we realised that we have come to a point where, in order to be really effective at a book sprint, we need to have a solid understanding of the state of the current book before we start. In earlier sprints, this wasn't such a big deal as we could just get together and pump out the content, but now that our...Read more
There are various CiviCRM events coming up in London this February, indeed there is 'something for everyone' regardless of your level of experience and familiarity with CiviCRM. If you can't make it over to the US this April, you should definitley consider participating in one or more of these events...
We are starting off on the 8th February with a CiviCRM meet-up - an informal after work event at Third Sector Design's offices at TechHub, Old Street. We'll have two presentations showing off what you can do with CiviCRM, a Q+A session and a chance to meet and mingle with other CiviCRM users and developers. Meet-ups are free a great way to get to learn more about CiviCRM and are suitable for those that are new to CiviCRM as well as people that have been using it for years. ...Read more
For the past couple of years (since May 2009) we've used Flossmanuals to write our CiviCRM books. In August this year, our old faithful Comprehensive guide to CiviCRM became two: The CiviCRM user and administrator guide and The CiviCRM developer guide. The user and administrator guide is now in its fourth version and we're currently writing new training guides for administrators and developers. We are also experimenting with sector specific introductions and it feels like we are headed towards a pretty comprehensive set of documentation for CiviCRM.
Up until now, the books have lived in their own little orange world on Flossmanuals, and while that orange world (filled with strange creatures like Booki and Objavi) has been good to us, we've wanted to move our documentation closer to civicrm.org for a while. There are lots of...Read more
Continuing our amazing productivity during sprints, we introduce our 9th and final sprint of the year. This sprint is being held at the offices of De Goede Woning in Netherlands from Dec 12th - Dec 16th. A big thanks to the sponsors - De Goede Woning - for offering facilities, bosworX for installing WiFi and to Erik H and Erik B from EE-atWork for sponsoring the food, drink and accommodations.
This sprint we are trying something a bit different. In addition to the folks gathering in the NL, we will have a virtual sprint going on at approx the same time on the #civicrm IRC channel. Considering we have developers spread across different time zones (europe, india, US east coast, US west coast, new zealand), we should be going pretty good around the clock :) We'll have a virtual...Read more
Good documentation is mission critical for the success of any software project. As a project we essentially have three audiences for our documentation:
- Site Builders
Michael McAndrew, Dave Greenberg and I had a great discussion at the NYC Code/Testing Sprint about our documentation strategy and workflow. We have a fantastic team that has done amazing work on the CiviCRM books. We also have our original, community maintained documentation wiki. What has come out of our discussions is a proposal to improve and focus each resource so that they have clear and distinct purposes.
Our two flossmanuals.net publications: CiviCRM (the book) and CiviCRM Developer Guide will become the official documentation. We will give the book a clearer title: CiviCRM User and Administrator Guide to match CiviCRM Developer Guide. Michael will take advantage of the html export feature...Read more
I’ve just come out of the Code and Book Sprint in Lincolnshire where we made good progress on lots of fronts and had a really good time. It was great to put faces to names and share food as well as ideas. A major breakthrough means D6 support should continue, while the main CiviCRM manual got a thorough overhaul and spawned a new Developer Manual, and some good thinking made serious improvements in CiviCase scalability. All good stuff and it all drives the project forward on one level or another. However, for me one of the most important things that happened was a much smaller conversation in the kitchen - missed by many - about Marketing.