It's 5 to midnight and we're just wrapping up. Mr Kurund says that I can't go to bed until I've written this post, so...
Participating in the second book sprint is just as fascinating as it was the first time around, but the dynamic is definitely different. Having a book in place already makes a big difference - there's no panicking that we'll end up with the sections half finished, and it is easier to cover components when a lot of the design decisions have already been made. Having already written sections on the components is especially helpful when covering new components.
Today we reached some pretty huge milestones - we have full draft coverage of CiviCRM's two newest components: CiviCase and CiviReport, and also of the new Drupal module for CiviCRM: CiviEngage.
And if that weren't enough, we've also have a comprehensive draft of a new section 'Developing with CiviCRM' that covers best practice for extending Civi. Developer documenation is often...Read more
Exactly one month from now, a team of CiviCRM developers, implementors and users will sprint to update 'Understanding CiviCRM: A Guide for Non-profits'. We've heard from lots of folks that to have this free online book as a learning resource is really important. And we're pretty excited about this sprint, especially given the amount we achieved last time.
There is lots to update and improve and we'd like your input to make the new version of the book as useful as possible to you. There are a few ways in which you can help now.
- Feedback to us on the current book. What did you like and what wasn't so good. What bits were missing, and what was unnecessary or confusing? Please add your comments on the book sprint wiki page.
- Volunteer to help remotely during the sprint. If you can't join us for the sprint, there are still ways...
Lunch time of day two stands out as a high point of the book sprint. We'd spent the first day working relatively independently - brain-dumping the chapters about areas of CiviCRM that we knew the best and by Tuesday, it was clear the chapters making up our introductory section needed a re-think.
Trying to get co-herence on five chapters written by five people sounded pretty daunting at the time, and I wasn't sure how we were going to get there. But after 15 minutes or so of intense talking over what we'd written, our experiences, and what we were trying to acheive, the answer came down from the ether. We realised we could split the section nicely down the lines of 'before you chose CiviCRM' and 'after you choose CiviCRM'. Armed with this, restructuring was a relative breeze.
These 'meetings' happened again and again during the sprint, and although the the outcomes might sound obvious in retrospect, I'm sure they wouldn't have been as easily come by (if they were...Read more
Last week I had the privilege of joining 10 other CiviCRM enthusiasts, along with a facilitator (Adam Hyde from FLOSS Manuals) for the CiviCRM Book Sprint. It was a fantastic experience on many different levels. More than anything else, it was great to meet in person and interact face-to-face with members of the core team and active members in the community—many of whom I’ve had forum-based contact with for several years.
In between (and often during) the writing, I had great opportunity to talk through how people have used and implemented CiviCRM, enriching my own understanding of the software and the possible capabilities it provides.
Both those discussions and the writing process itself made me appreciate even more how robust and flexible CiviCRM can be in meeting the diverse needs of non-profit organizations. As each chapter went through revisions, each reviewer brought their experience of how the software...Read more
Second day of the sprint behind - manual pages count is now 117. We started at 9am as day before and continued writing until lunch. When we were sleeping, our off-site editor Andy came through a few chapters and introduced quite a lot of propositions, remarks and edits - so it was not only writing new text, but also integrating fixes to whatever was written so far. Second day was also the first one when off-site authors started contributing their chunks of text to the book.
Last few days were quite rainy and cloudy in Tahoe, but on second sprint day the sun showed up just in time for having lunch outside. After short break we came together again and started our first review of the manual as a whole - everyone reported back on work so far, some good discussions happened on what should still be included in existing chapters, how chapters flow together and so on. After that we split into two groups that had separate conversations on how to combine some existing parts of the...Read more
Wow - to me personally, the first day of Book Sprint was quite a surprise. I knew there is a really cool and knowledgeable group of people here, and I also knew that getting away from everyday work really helps with focusing, but I just couldn't guess how productive this day will be. We gathered a few minutes after 9, Adam gave us an overview of Flossmanuals tools to get everyone up to speed, we claimed our chapters and started writing. First part of the day was pretty silent, only the sound of ferocious typing could have been heard.
The simple rule is - when you get tired with what you currently write about, take a rest or switch to writing something else. If you are unsure about the scope of your paragraph, ask others, have a little talk. As we were going further in our writing, more and more "synchronisation talks" were happening, people started peer reviewing their writing and brainstorming over different ideas.
Long awaited day came - a bunch of good folks from CiviCRM Community arrived to Truckee to work on CiviCRM book! Some of us have been hanging out in San Francisco for some time already, attending NTEN and CiviCRM Developer and User Meetups, some of us arrived only today. First item of business was finalising book outline so that we can be ready to do actual writing on Monday morning. The outline looks quite detailed, but also realistic - it seems like it will be a busy week, but we should be enjoying the effects on Friday.
Stay tuned for news on the book - new information will be showing up on Twitter, as well as on #flossmanuals and #civicrm channels on IRC.
P.S. Doesn't look like the cover will be looking like anticipated. :-)