So you want to write a manual…

As developers work tirelessly on new features in existing applications, new applications, and even on entirely new kinds of workspaces user documentation sadly lags behind. This is one of the fields where non-developers can make valuable contributions. It used to be difficult, but no more. Now you can develop a handbook for your favorite application in a nice and accessible wiki. You don’t need to learn Docbook markup, or to master arcane tools to manage the document. You just write your handbook, and when done it will be automatically converted to a proper handbook, ready to be part of the next software release.

Interested? Ok, here is what you do:

  • Head over to UserBase and get an account.
  • Have a look here for some pointers to get started
  • There is also a page especially for manual writers
  • Now start writing 🙂

Even though wiki markup is basically quite simple there are some guidelines that should be followed. Don’t worry – you’ll learn as you go along. Don’t be afraid to experiment. The preview function is your friend; use it often. If you accidentally save something and then regret it, you can always revert to a previous version.

If you have questions all you need to do is to go to the Talk page associated with your page, and start a new discussion; or you can visit our IRC channel #kde-www. You could also have a look at the new Amarok handbook which is being developed as I write.

So what are you waiting for. Share your knowledge! See you on UserBase.

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2 Responses to So you want to write a manual…

  1. Has there been an official ruling of Docbook manuals are dead, put all effort in manuals into Userbase?

    • clauschr says:

      Docbook is here to stay (afaik). What we try to do at UserBase is to make authoring of manuals easier. Manuals written on UserBase will be converted to regular Docbook manuals and distributed in the ususal way.

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