This year is already shaping up to be busy and challenging in a lot of ways, but one the biggest challenges I'm chomping for is in the world of documentation. By "world of documentation," I don't just mean Drupal docs either; I'm talking about all Open Source docs. Here is a bit of a glimpse into my visions for 2009. Put yer doc goggles on, cuz I'm on a wild ride.
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With the start of the new year, I've decided I'm going to run a monthly "Docs Challenge." I've got another post coming down the pike that lays out my long-term goals and the big pieces of the Drupal docs puzzle for this year. One of those goals is to find ways to make contributing to documentation clearer and easier. By setting up monthly challenges, I want to outline and give guidance on docs tasks throughout the year. It is one thing to tell people they can help and give them the tools, and quite another to actually explain what that means and guide them through the process. These challenges will hopefully not only get needed documentation tasks done, but show everyone exactly what it all means and that they really, really can help out. So, without further ado, my Docs Challenge for January is to clean up the docs issue queue on Drupal.org. We currently have about 200 issues covering 4 pages. I'd like to get that down to 150 (3 pages) by the end of the month. To that end, I'm going to set aside at least one hour each weekend day in January, from 1-2 p.m. EST (18:00-19:00 GMT) to work on the queue. I'll spend that hour on IRC in #drupal-docs on Freenode to answer questions and teach anyone who wants to learn as well. Fifty issues is a lot to get through and I'm going to need at least a little bit of help.
We wrapped up Do it with Drupal (DIWD [dūd] to those in the know) a few days ago and after slogging through email and catching up on the rest of life, I've had some time to begin digesting it all. Spoiler: it was awesome. I say that as an attendee and as a worker-bee. On the worker-bee side there are lots of reasons that I didn't want to run screaming and crying into the night, mostly due to great work by our organizing team. On the attendee side, I got to see lots of great presentations and chat with really interesting folks.
Nice menus is a great little module for creating dropdown and flyout menus in your Drupal site. My time to be a good maintainer for it varies wildly so it often sits dormant for long periods. Last week, during the Thanksgiving holiday, I dove back into the issue queue and after fixing a few bugs I spent most of my time playing with new features. The main things that I am excited about are things that will hopefully make version 2 of Nice menus, well, a little nicer.
I have finally finished my formal grant proposal to the Knight Foundation to fund documentation sprints for Drupal. (You can read the original community proposal on the Knight Drupal Initiative group page.) The basic idea is that there is a lot of work to be done and getting people together throughout the year, around the world, would accelerate the documentation work needed to really make Drupal more accessible to people.
Earlier today I took the one and half hour train ride up to Philly to attend the first DrupalCamp for that fine city. I hope they have more! Big thanks to the organizers, Nathan and Alex. It was very well put together and the venue was great. There were about 100 people there and I got to catch up with some friends and meet lots of new faces. I was slated to do two sessions, Contributing to Drupal and then a doc sprint.
Now, obviously, I'm going to Do it With Drupal, because I work for Lullabot. I also think that it will be a great event for people to learn about many, many aspects of Drupal all in one place and I look forward to hanging out with folks and sharing the Drupal love. But, I have to admit my real personal excitement about this - all the non-Drupal presentations. Seriously, I hope my work schedule there doesn't have me miss too many presentations that I really want to make.
Last Friday Dries announced that Steven Peck (sepeck) had decided to step back from his leadership role on the documentation team. Steven and Dries asked me to step into those big shoes and I accepted. All I can say is that I am glad that Steven isn't going away. :-) I'm honored that two people I respect so much have thought me worthy of this title. I will definitely hearken back to the many lessons I have learned from them both and strive to not disappoint.
I've been involved with the Drupal Documentation team, at varying levels of time and interest, for a while now. It was my first foray to getting involved with the community and I think it is a common entry point for many "non-coders" and people that may code but are hesitant to jump into the fray of Open Source development. Even as I've been immersed in the community and code, I still have a strong draw towards documentation.