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Re: User Guide update

On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 7:08 PM, Matthew Daniels <danielsmw gmail com> wrote:

In September 2008, Karsten wisely wrote in his new wiki stub for the
User Guide[1]:

   Each desktop application has integrated Help, so the scope of this
document may need to be considered carefully.

I feel like I've somewhat let this admonition go unattended since I've
been in charge of the User Guide. Would striking a lot of specific,
step-by-step tasks from the UG offend any previous content writers? Is
this the direction to go?

I do appreciate that the User Guide has been updated for Fedora 11. See http://docs.fedoraproject.org/user-guide/f11/en-US/html/ for the English version.  I'm sure it took many hours of dedicated work.


As the lead writer for the Fedora 6 User Guide (and a Fedora Project newbie at the time), I often felt confused over the scope of the User Guide. I wanted to put in specific instructions with screen shots, but was wisely discouraged from doing screen shots since it would limit the ability for the doc to be translated. At the same time, not having screen shots, I believe, took away from its usefulness. 

There's also the issue of trying to cover all the Desktop Managers.  F6 User Guide had only GNOME coverage and was severely criticised for not covering KDE.  The current User Guide includes KDE and XFCE along with GNOME. Now, what about LXDE, my current desktop?

Include in the mix the fact that default applications come and go, influenced by what apps are default in the GNOME and KDE desktops in particular. There always other popular apps like OpenOffice.org and Firefox. We all seem to have our recent favorites, mine being FreeMind, which isn't even packaged for Fedora.


On the other hand, perhaps it would be better to contribute updates to the upstream projects, especially ones like Gnome, KDE, XFCE and LXDE. (There's also a FLOSS docs project, but I haven't really checked it out yet.)

We can then assemble a set of links to these docs while filling any gaps that may exist upstream.


That's one approach.  Let the community vote with their contributions. If the User Guide is useful, volunteers will continue to update it and translate it into even more languages.

Overall, it helps with the change in license from OPL to Creative Commons.


There's no reason we can't do both.

Bottom line: It's a Fedora Doc community decision.

I would bring this up at a FDSCo meeting, but I've been unable to make
them lately. I'd appreciate some guidance on the list.

The FDP meetings are currently being held at my local time of 4 am, so I can't attend them.  :-(

Slightly off-topic: I have always seen one of the main purposes of the Docs Project as being the production of world-class release notes. This is why I am trying to learn Publican so I can help with this effort.

Best Regards,

John Babich
Volunteer, Fedora Project

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