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Re: Congrats and thanks


Hello Jim,
Thank you so much for your detailed feedback. It will be very useful and helps us in our effort to improve the way we work at the Ubuntu Manual Project.
Kevin has already answered most of it, I will add a few of my thoughts.
1. Need for more authors and editors. This is always the case. Ideally we would like to see that every chapter/section has an author/editor pair. As it is now, we have not (yet) reached this ideal situation. Also, there can be situations in which a person who promised he would contribute, suddenly withdraws for whatever reason. That is a coordinator's nightmare. We have just welcomed a new contributor, Craig, but the question is: how do we get more contributors? 2. Schedule: I agree that we should start as soon as possible. Expect a call for authors soon. 3. Meetings: we should have meetings more often. The planning for meetings can be included in the schedule. 4. Screenshots. Let's not forget that especially Sylvie and Carsten have done a tremendous job for Raring. We should try to get the ideal situation in which authors upload the screenshots for their chapter/section according to the instructions in the style guide so that it is not up to a few people who have to do most of the screenshots at the last moment. Screenshots cannot be taken at an early stage because we have to wait for the beta release.

I talk about ideal situations. Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world. But we must try to improve the way we work as much as possible.

Op 27-04-13 20:24, Jim Connett schreef:
I, too, wish to add my congrats and thanks to everyone for their hard work on the release of the Raring manual. It's really wonderful to see a team so diverse in skills and localities come together to accomplish a task.

As I am wont to do, I've thought about the positives and negatives of this iteration of the manual. Each manual presents its own surprises and its own unique set of "emergencies". Of course, my desire is that we capitalize on the positives and find ways to learn from the negatives.

o Good communication between leads and all involved with regards to due dates and assignments. o Well-developed and tested "help" documents released to aid in installation (tex) and version tracking (bazaar) o A good foundation for the document has been created, allowing us to reduce our focus on the general information and focus more on the specific changes introduced with each iteration.

x Not nearly enough authors.
x Editing was a challenge this iteration as some authors missed the deadline. x Too many changes in what was finally released in 13.04 that kept us scrambling up to the last second (Gwibber).
x Screenshots seemed to be a bit of an unexpected issue this time around.

! There should be a meeting one week before the due date for authors (and editors if they wish) to gain an assessment of where authors are at in the process...reassign sections if needed, etc. I don't think it works very well to have an authors/editors meeting 1/2 way through the editing process. I think it's better to have these as separate connection points. ! More communication is needed when calls-for-authors and calls-for-editors are made. I remember only seeing one "call" on the 300-or-so RSS feeds I follow. Calls for authors/editors should be done 3-5 times...up to two weeks before the author deadline. In fact, I would even go so far as to recommend we start getting authors/editors lined up now for Saucy. It appears the Ubuntu Documentation Project is hurting (very badly) for authors/editors, and they've already put the word out for assistance...this means the pool of potential volunteers may become more limited. ! Shave one week off of the author due date and give 3 weeks for editing. We have all this time to write, but a very narrow window to edit/rewrite as needed. If our goal now is to always release the new manual with the release of the new version of Ubuntu, I believe editors need just a little more time to do their job. ! Re-instate the screenshot team. Screenshots should be uniform across the entire manual. Having everyone do their own screenshot...even when using the default theme, tends to produce ever-so-slightly different results. I would estimate it would take two people about 4 hours each at the end of the editing phase to do all the screenshots. (As a side-note...I do not think screenshots should be in the margin! If the concept is important enough to have a screenshot, it should be in the main section of the document.)

So...that's my perspective. take it or leave it. Again, great job everyone! I'm looking forward to getting started on the next iteration in a few months!


On Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM, Mehmet Kani <m.kani@xxxxxxx <mailto:m.kani@xxxxxxx>> wrote:

    Dear all,

    Thank you all for all the support during the authoring stage. Look
    forward to the next project.

    Happy days.

    Warm regards

-- Mehmet Kani

    m.kani@xxxxxxx <mailto:m.kani@xxxxxxx>

    View Mehmet Kani's profile on LinkedIn

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