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Working on the Xubuntu documentation rewrite

As you might know, the Xubuntu team has been planning a full offline documentation rewrite, calling for contributors and officially launching the rewrite. While we have had a great bunch of people sign up for contributing, only a few things had been accomplished before a few days ago. However, it was time for the me to stay awake for a whole night two nights ago, and my time was almost completely dedicated for the documentation rewrite.

In the temporary wiki Elizabeth kindly set up for the documentation rewrite, we have now made quite a progress. While we are still far away from being ready, the structure is now reviewed, and unnecessary and obsolete parts have been striked out. No need to worry about those anymore! We also merged quite a few subpages and did some writing, mostly to What is Xubuntu? but also other topics. Yesterday, I continued with the work, and the topic Adding and removing applications is now in a pretty good shape too.

Those of you who have signed up for contributing; this is your time to step up at last. There’s now plenty of examples of what kind of structure, titles, writing style and general atmosphere we want for the documentation. If you are still hesitating to actually edit any content on the documentation, it helps if you can copy the old documentation content to the pages on the wiki that aren’t striked out.

We’re hoping to do much more progress in the following week or two, because that’s about as much time as we have to get most of the rewriting done. While the Documentation String Freeze isn’t hitting us earlier than September 20th, we still need to make sure everything is correct in the documentation both grammatically and technically. We also need to convert the documentation to DocBook syntax and create a new documentation looks too. After we’ve done all that, we still need to upload the new documentation to the repositories so our users can actually get to enjoy it. That’s a lot of work!

But that’s not all: once the rewriting and reviewing part is done, we need to set up translations. However, that’s a different topic and definitely a different blog article. It’s also something we should start worrying about towards the end of September – assuming we are getting the rewriting and reviewing done by that!