Docs team 2nd Quarter 2011 update

June 28th, 2011

Hello from Jennifer and Ariane, your friendly Drupal Documentation Team co-leads! It’s time for a quarterly update on what’s happening in the Documentation team—we’ve been trying out some new initiatives and working on infrastructure since our last update (April 5, 2011), and we’d like to get you up to date.

April – June events

  • In April and May, Ariane tried out a new concept: picking out a few online documentation projects for the docs team to focus on, in the spirit of an agile “sprint” (not to be confused with a day-long let’s-all-document “sprint”). April’s sprint focused on 5 key Drupal 7 documentation updates, and it was quite successful: many people participated; four of the five documentation goals were completed, and lots of progress was made on the 5th (updating the core module documentation for Drupal 7). May’s sprint had a bit less momentum, but many of the April contributors continued on, and some progress was made.
  • Jennifer also made a developer-doc priority for April and May—to finish the theme and module Drupal 6 to 7 migration guides. This task was completed in June.
  • We named June “Bring a Friend to Docs” month, and outlined an easy procedure to ease new contributors into contributing to documentation. If you missed it in June, you’re still welcome to follow the steps on that page—we can always use more contributors!

Upcoming events

  • Jennifer and Ariane will both be at DrupalCon London (thanks to the Drupal Association for funding Jennifer’s trip!). Keep an eye on the BOF (Birds of a Feather – informal sessions) schedule, and join us for a Documentation sprint on Friday, August 26 (if you can’t make it to London, you can join us in IRC on #drupal-docs, probably about 9 AM to 5 PM London time). Jennifer’s also (hopefully) co-presenting a Core Conversation about improving the Drupal Help system with Kristof Van Tomme, if it gets accepted. Hope to see you there!
  • Ariane’s online documentation sprints will take a vacation for the summer, and are planned to resume after DrupalCon London. It will be business as usual in the Docs issue queue in the interim.
  • To keep up on future Documentation Team events, follow @drupaldocs on Twitter, and join
  • If you’d like to host a documentation sprint at your regional camp, local LinuxFest, etc., we have a newly updated guide to hosting a sprint available.

Other Docs Team milestones and news

  • There have been several new contributors this quarter making patches for API documentation, which is much appreciated! We’ve managed to get quite a few API doc issues fixed, and are really improving the quality of the documentation. Keep up the good work, team!
  • We have been holding weekly “Documentation Office Hours”—one-hour IRC meetings on Tuesday afternoon (North American time), open to anyone for questions and discussions about contributing to documentation. It seems like it’s been very helpful to have a definite time when people can find us on IRC, and we plan to continue with this schedule for the foreseeable future.
  • The Documentation Contributors block is back, and available for your Dashboard, with handy links relevant to Docs contributors. See for more details.
  • Jennifer has been working on an infrastructure initiative: to announce Drupal code changes as “Change notification” nodes on, using Views and a content type with CCK fields (issue). This will act as a replacement for and enhancement of the current (very cumbersome and hard-to-maintain) Module and Theme update guides, and hopefully help the process of making sure that as Drupal evolves, the documentation evolves with it, as well as making it easier for module and theme developers to keep up with changes. Jennifer is also working with Angela Byron and others to change some other documentation-related aspects of the core Drupal development process. We’ll be announcing the process changes, the Change notification nodes, and other updates as they go live.
  • Jennifer is also hoping to get to some of the other infrastructure and communication issues identified in our December 2010 docs meeting this summer, once the change notification nodes project is launched, so hopefully we’ll have some more Docs infrastructure news next quarter!
  • Jennifer is mentoring a Google Summer of Code student this summer, Tamás Demeter-Haludka (Yorirou), who is building a module to do Conditional Text in Drupal, as part of the initiative to make a better help system in Drupal 8. We’ll be having some BOF gatherings and hopefully a Core Conversation at DrupalCon London on this initiative, if you would like to get involved.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in helping with Drupal documentation:

That’s all for now, hope you’re having a fantastic summer and that we’ll see you in London!