[personal profile] rho
Have any suggestions for things that you think should be documented but aren't, things about the current documentation that you think need improving, or any "hey, wouldn't it be neat if..." ideas that pertain to docs? Comment here with them, and I'll either fix them, put them in zilla, or explain why I don't want to do them.
ivorygates: (DW LOVE NOT WAR)
[personal profile] ivorygates
This is the September thread for suggesting new FAQs, suggesting changes to existing FAQs, posting errors in existing FAQs, and for changes to/additions to/errors in site copy which is not FAQs.
ivorygates: (Default)
[personal profile] ivorygates
This is the August thread for suggesting new FAQs, suggesting changes to existing FAQs, posting errors in existing FAQs, and for changes to/additions to/errors in site copy which is not FAQs.
ivorygates: (dreamwidth social content with dimension)
[personal profile] ivorygates
http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=130 -- the FAQ on the Crossposter has been updated to remove a reference to the cut tags bug. The Known Issue about mood icons has been added

http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=108 -- "The Feed I'm Following Isn't Updating. Why?" has been reformatted for easier reading.
ivorygates: (Default)
[personal profile] ivorygates
This is the July thread for suggesting new FAQs, suggesting changes to existing FAQs, posting errors in existing FAQs, and for changes to/additions to/errors in site copy which is not FAQs.
ivorygates: (DW DREAMWIDTH RAINBOW "D&qu)
[personal profile] ivorygates
http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=173 Revised. Information on how the latest code-push affects Transmogrified; fixes.


http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=152 Revised. Information on the new BETA VERSION Suggestions Generator. Which doesn't, um, generate suggestions, but allows you to make them...

Updates

Jul. 11th, 2009 01:47 am
ivorygates: (Default)
[personal profile] ivorygates
http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=175 "Can I Download My Dreamwidth Journal?" is a how-to on using the "Export Journal" Tool.

http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=149 "Site pages do not display properly in older browsers, including Internet Explorer 6" discusses workarounds for site-surfing for those using older browsers.

http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=152 "Where can I leave suggestions for site improvements?" covers where you can make site suggestions.

FAQ Update

May. 16th, 2009 01:07 am
ivorygates: (Default)
[personal profile] ivorygates
One new FAQ, one revised FAQ

Which journalling services can I crosspost to? [new FAQ]
http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=151

How can I crosspost entries? [revised]
http://www.dreamwidth.org/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=98 [updated]
ivorygates: (DW DREAMWIDTH RAINBOW "D&qu)
[personal profile] ivorygates
Well that didn't take long, did it? Application under the cut.

Read more... )
[personal profile] rho
As well as the addition of [site community profile] dw_docs_training that [personal profile] ivorygates has already mentioned, we're also going to be making a few changes to how we're running [site community profile] dw_docs itself.

First off, we're going to be moderating entries on this community. As I write this, there are 576 members here, and we're taking this step now to keep the number of entries here manageable and make sure that everything stays on topic. We want for this to be a community that anyone interested in documentation can read without being snowed under with the volume of entries.

Things that will be on topic here:
  • Any announcements [personal profile] ivorygates and I make (for example, "we need volunteers for this project!").
  • Summaries of which FAQs we've changed recently.
  • Discussion of broad-stroke documentation issues (for instance, "how do we best handle accessibility in our FAQs?").
  • People from other Dreamwidth projects keeping us informed of things that will be relevant to documentation (for example, "hey, we're going to be adding this big new feature soon so you might want to start documenting it now".

Notable things that won't be on topic:
  • Suggestions for things that need adding or changing (see below for how we're going to be handling these.
  • General Dreamwidth suggestions, which belong in [site community profile] dw_suggestions.
  • The actual process of writing things or questions about this, which will be going in [site community profile] dw_docs_training.

We're not going to switch over to being a moderated community for a couple of days yet at least. We want to give you all time to spot anything we might have missed before we do this. I'll also add that we're still going to be keeping open membership here, and we won't be screening comments. It will only be top-level entries that we'll be moderating.

As I mentioned above, we're not going to be taking suggestions for improvements in entries to this community any more. Instead, we'll be posting a "suggestions box" entry every month, and then having people comment there with their suggestions and feedback. We'll also keep a link to the current suggestions box thread in our profile. This way, people who are interested will be able to track comments on the entry, but people who aren't interested will be able to stay subscribed to the community without having to sit through all the suggestions posts.

We'll be going through the suggestions as they come in, and then migrating them over to a master list of Things That Need To Be Done which our hard working doc team (and doc trainees!) will be able to work off without having to track around the community looking for what's already been dealt with and what hasn't.

Again, we'll be waiting at least a couple of days before we implement this, so we can make any changes we need to based on your feedback.
ivorygates: (GEN WIKIPEDIA)
[personal profile] ivorygates
Now that we're in Open Beta, we're getting to see how actual people who aren’t us are using the site, and this is letting us know how we need to revise our documentation and, of course, write more.

One of the things we're viewing with enthusiasm now that many of our tasks are no longer as time-critical is the opportunity to allow many more people to participate in our process. In the past several months, a lot of people have wanted to get involved in site documentation, but there were a number of reasons we couldn't accept all the help that was offered.

We have now remedied that small problem.

The new community [site community profile] dw_docs_training is intended as a dedicated work and training environment for new volunteers, experienced members of the docs team, and for anyone who's working on related aspects of the GUI, such as the site copy team and the site styles team. [site community profile] dw_docs_training will be a closed, moderated, response-screened community so we can concentrate on the training and support aspects of docs writing.

In [site community profile] dw_docs_training, we'll expect you to write material off a supplied prompt and we'll the result in the community for critique. To ensure the critiquing process remains useful and focused, your sample exercises will be re-posted by one of the community moderators, and all comments will be unscreened at the same time, and only when everybody who needs to comment on the entry has commented.

Your material will be judged by three criteria: accuracy (does the site behave in the fashion you indicate?), clarity (can an inexperienced or confused reader understand what you've written and follow any directions included?) and conformity with the Dreamwidth style as laid out in the Manual of Style.

If you are participating in the community as a proofreader or copyeditor, the procedure you'll follow will be similar, except you won't be posting entries, you'll be commenting on the entries of others.

In addition to participating in [site community profile] dw_docs_training, all volunteers in training will be expected to read all of the FAQs. Not only will this give you a broad familiarity with the documentation, there are many places in which it hasn't yet reached perfection: this will be your chance to see if you can find errors.

You'll also need to familiarize yourself thoroughly with the Dreamwidth Manual of Style and the Dreamwidth Site Terminology, both of which can be found on the Dreamwidth Wiki.

The Dreamwidth Manual of Style:
http://wiki.dwscoalition.org/notes/Manual_of_Style

The Dreamwidth Terminology Notes:
http://wiki.dwscoalition.org/notes/Terminology

What we want out of this process, and we hope you want it too, is for you to be able to write a FAQ or other piece of site copy to site standard language, or (if you aren't one of our writers) to be able to review a piece of site copy, detect typos and other problems, identify those areas in which it does not meet the Dreamwidth standard, and prepare useful revision notes for its author.

We'll be posting the details of how to apply to the Docs Team here in [site community profile] dw_docs very soon.
chasy: (Default)
[personal profile] chasy
I tried copy editing four different pages and on all four, the [Save] button was grayed out. Does this mean someone is already proofing the page? Or is it something else?

Edit: And now it's not grayed out anymore...


Thanks, rho!
[personal profile] rho
An astounding thing happened while I was sleeping last night. We reached the stage where all translation strings (except for FAQs, which are handled separately) have been marked as updated! If I'm counting right, that's 3752 translation strings updated to match our terminology and our style. Almost all of them have been proof-read as well. There are still a few left that haven't, which I'm sure the copy editing team will get on soon. This means 4 things:

1. The team of people who have been working on this are completely and utterly awesome. I cannot express in words how floored I am by the work that they've done. Before we started, I'd had nightmare visions of spending 36 hours straight wrestling with the translation system to try to get things finished by Open Beta. Instead, we finish with almost 3 weeks to spare. Please, everyone join me in giving mad props to the site copy and copy editing teams!

2. This means that if you see any instances of "LiveJournal" or "Friends" or anything else that doesn't belong, then that means that it's a bug. For along time, when people have been asking, I've been saying "yeah, we know there are still a bunch of places like that; we'll get to it!" Now we've gone through the whole site, we should have fixed everything. I'd be surprised if there weren't a couple of instances that we've managed to miss though, most likely through text that's hard-coded into the system. If you spot anything that doesn't look right from here on in, please let me know. Comment here, or send me a message.

3. We need to figure out what to do now! If you want to take a break, then please do. You've earned it. However, since we have the time, I want to go back and try to polish everything up and make it all really really shiny. This is the sort of task that can never truly be finished. There are always bits of wording that can be improved, always ways to make things clearer or more concise. That's what I think we should aim for now.

So, site copy people, you now have carte blanche to go back through updated strings and be really really picky with them, and try to get them to be just so. I'd suggest that the best way to do this would probably be to trawl around the site, and look for wordings that you don't think are as good as they could be, then use ?uselang=debug to find where they come from and then go in and edit them. If you prefer some other method, though, go with whatever works best for you.

When you update things, keep them marked as updated, but uncheck the "proofed" box, so the proof readers know they need proof reading again. Proof-readers, your job remains the same as ever.

4. [staff profile] denise and I agree that everyone who's been involved in this herculean task deserves an invite code or two for their efforts. Go check your codes! If you haven't got any and you should, poke me and I'll go and nag Denise until she gives you some.

And finally, let me say "thank you!" again. You all rock my socks so damn much.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
As a "Wooooooo!" for the site copy team, which has gotten through every string on the site (seriously, guys, just ... wow), both the site copy team and the copy editor team just got a batch of invite codes to give out!
[personal profile] rho
This entry isn't really going to be saying anything concrete. It's mainly just me putting some of my thoughts onto pixels. I'd very much appreciate any thoughts that any of you have on this, though.

At various points, from when I first took over the documentation project to this morning, I've had various people expressing an interest at getting involved with FAQs/copy/proof-reading/whatever and I've had to turn them down, for one reason or another. It breaks my heart a little bit every time I've had to do that, because I really firmly believe that everyone has something useful to offer and everyone should be able to concentrate.

The problem, for now, is that expediency is trumping pretty much all other concerns. We have a bunch of things that we need to get written by Open Beta, and getting them written is my priority. Paradoxically, asking more people to contribute at this point would be counter-productive to this goal. Time spent training people up to write in our style and to use our tools would take away from the time we have to actually write things.

In choosing my teams, one thing I was looking out for was people who I thought would be able to get writing with minimal training: people who were self0sufficient in learning new skills, for instance, or people whose natural writing styles mostly closed matched the Dreamwidth style.

Fortunately, writing documentation is a lot like writing a book. It's impossible to ever finish. There'll always be some wording that could be made clearer, some feature that isn't documented properly, or some new way of presenting things. No matter how good our documentation is, we'll always be able to make it better.

As we move on after the Open Beta launch, I want to try to bring as many people as possible into the process. The development team are doing a wonderful job of getting new people involved and training them up ([site community profile] dw_dev_training for instance) and I want to use what they're doing as a model for what we can do over here.

One of the problems will be that we don't have the same tools as the devs do. We don't have any nice mechanism for people to submit patches to update site copy or FAQs. We have just two options: either we can say "hey, I think that this should say this instead" or we can put it actually live on the site. This is less than ideal.

In the long-term, we're going to be scrapping the existing FAQ system and translation system and replacing them with new, better systems of our own devising. One thing that I'm keen on working into the new system from the start is some decent form of version control. I want for us to be able to make changes and have them sitting in the back-end where we can look at them, and then to be able to put them onto the live site when we're happy with them.

For now though, that isn't an option, so we'll have to figure out some other way of doing things. One possibility is to let everyone who's interest make suggestions for additions and improvements, but instead of just saying "yes" or "no" for us to then work with you to let you know why we think it's a good or a bad idea, how you can improve your suggestion, and so on. That way, hopefully, we'd be able to have people improve, and eventually reach the point where they'd be the ones who are giving the advice and making the actual changes on site.

I'm not really sure what the best way to try to organise this will be, nor even if it's going to be a good idea to have any sort of formal organisation at all. I just know that the general idea of bringing more people into the fold is one I'm committed to.

So what do you think? If you're currently on the team, how would you feel about helping to train up new people? If you aren't currently on the team, what would be most useful to you and make you want to get involved?
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
[staff profile] mark
Hi --

The cunning plan by [personal profile] rho, [personal profile] ysobel, and myself has now been implemented. Only strings that we have confirmed are still used on some page somewhere are visible in the translation interface. Other strings have been hidden from view.

This has reduced the number of strings in the translation interface from some 6,500 down to just shy of 3,000 strings. This means that you should have less orphaned/crufty strings to dig through.

If you see any problems, or see strings have disappeared that you know are in use somewhere, please let us know so we can investigate.

Thank you!

Quick note

Apr. 3rd, 2009 08:13 am
[personal profile] rho
I'm sorry for not clarifying this before. When you're dealing with site copy stuff through the translation system, leave the FAQs alone for now. A lot of them are still being rewritten by the FAQ team, and when they are all written, we'll be handling them separately. Thanks.

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