Re: Call for hackfest ideas

On Wed, 2008-04-16 at 17:00 -0400, Behdad Esfahbod wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-04-16 at 15:20 -0500, Shaun McCance wrote:
> > Now, documentation hacking is another story.  A hackfest
> > could probably do wonders for Mallard.  There are yet a
> > lot of actual design decisions to be made, and a lot of
> > thought that has to go into the full implementation.
> > 
> > I can think of quite a few people I'd like to have at
> > such an event.  Me and Don, of course.  And Brent if
> > he ever reappears.  Our Foie Gras folks: Szilveszter,
> > Buddhika, and Denis.  And Danilo to help us look at
> > localization stuff.  And Liam Quin, because you can
> > never go wrong when you have Ankh.
> That may work, but what I had in mind was getting you and Don in the
> same place for the weekend, so you can sit down, take a high level look
> at all the documentation we have, figure out what's deprecated, what
> need update, what needs rewrite, how accessible/discoverable they are,
> how much does the doc section on our website sucks, etc, just fix many
> of them, and report the rest to the community to go fix 'em.  How's
> that?  We prolly can be bribed into flying you both into a really nice
> place, if that motivates you a bit more.

A few things:

1) I don't know that Don is actually interested in the writing
side of things.  Although if you offer to fly him somewhere nice,
he might become interested. :)  Prior to me, the guy responsible
for the team was not the guy responsible for the tools.  After me,
it will probably return to that.  I've bred Don to be my hacking
replacement, not my writing replacement.

2) At the moment, the answer to the question "what needs work?"
is basically "everything".  If we're not actually writing, then
I don't know how useful it is for us to compile a list of what's
wrong.  A list of what needs to be done will be quickly out of
date if nobody is writing.  (Pulse can help immensely here, if
we just iron out some kinks and get it running somewhere.)

3) Compiling a list of problems (and even recommendations for
addressing those problems) is very likely something I can do
on my own, given sufficient time.  Flying me somewhere nice
is probably less economical and less productive than just
finding a cell in Champaign you can lock me in.

4) Mallard will drastically change the way we organize stuff
inside our documentation.  Putting people together in a room
to plan out how to restructure our DocBook is like forming a
committee to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic.


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