Tag Archives: openhelp

Cincinnati, home of goetta breakfast sausage

Dave, Petr, Mike, Jim, Shaun and I are now half way through Open Help in Cincinnati, OH, USA. This is the  fourth Open Help and I’m happy to say that the documentation team has made it to all four so far (and also to Writing Open Source, the predecessor to Open Help).


We have heard a number of fascinating presentations so far, generally themed around engaging contributors and creating a community. Eric Shepherd talked to us about breaking down barriers to contribution and fostering the Mozilla community. Rich Bowen shared his wisdom on helping newcomers with documentation. Shaun McCance has been building a community around Clifton Market in real life, which has proven to be an interesting challenge.

Dave and I took the opportunity to talk about how the documentation team does outreach, the challenges faced with interships and barriers to contributions.

Tomorrow, the documentation team are going to start on the sprints where we will be working on the system administrator guide.

Open Help Conference & Sprints

Open Help, part 2

For those of you who have not been before, Open Help has quite a standard conference layout of two conference days over the weekend followed by three hacking days during the week. As I mentioned before, I joined the travel committee a few months ago and was working on processing GUADEC sponsorsip requests. A number of the summer interns asked me to explain to them what is the difference between conference days and BoFs. So, this is what our conference days at Open Help were like:

Lilly Danger and the hat

And this was what our hacking days were like:

Too much chili

We took one look at https://developer.gnome.org/ and decided that it needed some care. After quite a lot of brainstorming and debate, we concluded that the structure of the Developer Center needs to be simplified, which is now a work-in-progress in master.

One of the biggest issues that we addressed is that the Documentation Team does not have the manpower to keep up with all the cool new stuff that developers should know about. Ryan is leading the effort to try a different approach which we hope may be more developer friendly when it comes to maintenance and new content with a “How Do I…?” series on the wiki.

In the mean time, we are aiming to merge the platform-demos, the examples and mini-showcase applications, into what is currently the platform overview.

For more details on the state of https://developer.gnome.org/, have a look at the Documentation Team’s planning pages on the wiki.

I was sponsored by the GNOME Foundation!Open Help Conference & Sprints

Open Help, part 1

Open Help is on this weekend in Cincinnati. We’re half way through the two conference days and have seen very interesting presentations from Jorge Castro about helping users help users, Janet Swisher on sprints and Rich Bowen about writing better help, which led to interesting discussions during the panel and open floor.

Happy Jimmimico

The trip over to the US was a bit long as Dave and I were delayed at almost every point of the way, but we finally arrived in Cincinnati after a 22 hour trip to a lovely reception at Via Vite on Fountain Square.

The conference itself has a very relaxed atmosphere. With around 40 attendees, it is possible to meet everyone and it is rather nice to have a fluid schedule. There are people here from a range of different projects, including Drupal, the Wikimedia Foundation and WordPress, including four people who previously participated in the OPW. Unfortunately, Sindhu and Aruna, the Documentation Team interns from round 5 and 6, could not make it because they have exams right now, but I am hoping to meet them at GUADEC.

Open Help Conference & Sprints