[Zope-CMF] Use the source Luke -- what could be done to help documentation process? Request for comments!

Heimo Laukkanen huima@fountainpark.org
Tue, 02 Apr 2002 02:04:21 +0300

A while a ago there was discussion about the community stalling and the 
state of the documentation. As far as I can remember and see, there 
wasn't really any agreements or solutions what to do -- so I raise the 
question again -- and propably aim it to the people at Zope corp., what 
we -- noble users -- could do to help your work on documentation?

I am no frigging genius, but after banging my head enough to the wall I 
learned to turn into the source code and find answers from there. As it 
brings some enligthment from time to time, I - personally - would like 
to help others to find the answers more easily, and possibly let them 
solve some other problem and that way help me, while I'm propably facing 
that problem in the future.

We have a great community -- that is unfortunately in very many pieces 
around the world. Nice thing is the diversity, but in some cases the 
effiency suffers. Should one turn into ZDP, Zope zen, zope newbies, 
zopelabs or search through the mailinglists? Huh?

Joel Burton asked wether there would be people interested to help in 
these efforts, or more precise to be leaders in such cases. I emailed 
him that I would like to help, but at this stage could not be a leader 
of any kind. Now I am asking, is there -- in the wide open world -- a 
person or persons, who would like to  help the community get back on the 
knowledge building-track?

What I am suggesting is that together we create a certain set of methods 
of work, that we all will follow and help others to follow. These will 
include some etiquette on the mailinglists, howto's and what to do with 
the information -- for example where to store good code snipplets etc. I 
know it sounds hard and would require work with many people, especially 
the great persons who now maintain great sites at zope.org -- but also 
zopezen.oeg, zopelabs.com, zopenewbies etc.

We have so much what we could - for example tell stories and write case 
scenarios about how we have used Zope and how we have planned to use it 
in future. There is whole lot of tacit knowledge stored into many of the 
seasoned Zope-developers and the challenge for the whole community is to 
get that knowledge into usable form. While Dieter's and others replies 
on the mailing lists are excellent, I believe that we could achieve 
more. For example by writing summaries of our problems and solutions, 
and storing them in some good format with good metadata so that the 
searches will find them better than now. But where and how?

This is where we - as a community - would need to make decisions and 
stick by them. Possibly it would require that some persons would work as 
a coordinators, and many others -- just like myself -- would assist them 
by creating content and moving information from one place to another. 
But coordination is the key, wether you like it or not.

It only requires some time and commitment -- which for most of us equals 
money. But count the numbers and tell me honestly, would you have any 
less -- or way much more, if our community for some parts would work 
like a well oiled machine. Atleast for me, Zope has been a great source 
of inspiration -- and honestly changed the way I see development... And 
I would be honoured to give something really valuable back.

That was my 0.5 euros from Finland ,-)