OpenSolaris Docs - What, Where, How?
By dlindt on Jul 22, 2005
Questions, questions, and more questions. What information do you need, where do we post that information, how do we get that information? What's really interesting about opensolaris.org is that it is and evolving community that is growing and maturing. Take documentation, or the need for information, as an example. The opensolaris.org site started with the docs resources I talked about in my June 15, 2005 blog entry.
Now on the discussion forums, we have people sharing their experiences from working with OpenSolaris, and writing about their experiences in the form of procedures and 'How Tos'. We have people wanting to write technical articles and asking how to contribute content to opensolaris.org. People need information, and they want to create that information.
We have a lot of opportunities for creating a documentation page and organizing the information people are writing. We have an OpenSolaris Community: Documentation page, but I'd really like to see a Documentation link in the left sidebar nav or a tab on the home page like on netbeans.org.
There are a lot of people writing about interesting topics in their blogs, so how do we track and organize that information? How do we make it easier to find that particular blog entry from three weeks ago? I'd still like to be able to create my own list of links to blog entries that match the topics that interest me. What else can we do with the information in all those blog entries?
As a technical communicator, watching this evolving collection of information is fascinating. Part of me wants to be able to give you all the information you need. That's what we would like to do as technical writers and information designers. But we are way past the point where we can create all the docs that you need for all the various projects and technologies we work with. Rather than diminish our value as communicators, all of this interest in creating information gives us the material we need to work with to make our docs better for you.
It's been an overworked cliche for years that people say nobody reads the docs (but they use information). Even if people avoid reading an 800-page reference manual, I'd say there is a high probability they use some of the information from that manual. That information can be in the form of smaller html files, used in technical articles or other smaller docs, any one of a number of different forms.
For opensolaris.org, we have a lot of work to do to answer those questions on how to organize all this information. Between the blogs, forums, and email aliases, you've shown the value of information and communication.
I'd like to give you the information you need in the format you need. Just keep telling us what you want for information, and we will work to improve the delivery of that information.