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Re: Self Introduction: John Mahowald

On Wed, 2006-04-05 at 16:25 -0500, John Mahowald wrote:
> I'm John Mahowald, an undergraduate computer science student at the
> University of St Thomas, MN, USA. I do a bit of programming,
> particularly in Java. I've been using Linux since RHL in 2002.
> Recently I have done package reviews and sponsored packagers for
> Extras, as well as maintain a couple. fedorared on freenode IRC. I
> also am a community manager (Jman) at http://fedoraforum.org. Someday
> I may want to persue a way of importing some of the how tos there and
> polishing them up.

Welcome to the project!

> For the docs project I am interested in DocBook-izing existing plain
> text documentation and working my way toward writing.  I have done
> some decent writing but this would be my first real technical writing
> experience. As to editing, I want to do both grammar and technical.

The Documentation Guide is a very good resource on both technology and
writing style:


One easy way to approach it is to check out the example-tutorial and a
couple of the published documents from CVS, use them as a reference, and
go back to the Guide as you need to. The Guide covers a lot of ground,
and reading it cold may be a little overwhelming.

You are welcome to post queries or a request for comments on a draft to
this list at any time - feel free to experiment and ask for help as
issues arise.

> Stuff I would like to see documented more include package building
> tools, like plague and a how to for remastering anaconda install CDs.
> I also want to push the building packages guide along toward publish
> status. Finally, I'm interested in an updated kickstart guide. Overall
> I'm into documentation that increases the amount of available software
> for Fedora and the number of installed Fedora systems.

There's definitely a lot of interesting stuff around deployment and
software management, so deciding where to start may be the most
difficult challenge :). 

IMO, the key thing for pushing a document to edit and publication is
that the text has to provide enough support for a user to perform
whatever task the document focuses on. Once a document explains the
basic task then it's easy enough to expand the coverage in subsequent
versions - the first version doesn't have to be a comprehensive guide,
or cover all aspects of a topic.


Stuart Ellis

stuart elsn org

Fedora Documentation Project: http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/docs/

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