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Inking my history

InkedI am one of those people that has occasionally marked the story of my life on my body. I'm not a crazy piercing/tattoo/modification person, but I do hit places in my life where it seems fitting. It's been a while and last year was one of those times. And so now I have a new tattoo. That brings me to two piercings and two tattoos. It'll be a long while before the next, if I ever do it again that is. It takes some extreme inner turmoil to make me record it so permanently, and I hope that doesn't happen often in my future.

Love and Hate in my mouth

I love food and I hate food. We all have that internal list of "oh yes!" and "ewwwwww." I've been spending more and more time in Scandinavia and they have a serious love of licorice there. I detest licorice. I'm also not a fan of fish, cooked carrots (raw are fine), and what is it with raisins in baked goods? I could go on about foods that I know I don't like. Last time I was in Denmark, I decided to give licorice another chance. I haven't had it in a long time and I opened my mind to delicious, yummy candy. Man, I still hate it. I managed to not spit it out of my mouth but I couldn't control the facial contortions of torture. Way. Too. Intense. Now, that experience definitely confirmed for me that I simply don't like licorice and since that hasn't changed at all in 38 years, I'm going to go with the conclusion that I really just hate it (and maybe it just really hates me).

Homeless

Out and AwayLast week I packed all of my belongings in a storage unit and left my house of 10 years. I've been paring down my possessions so that when I left I could comfortably fit all that remained in a 5x5 ft (1.5m) unit. I stuffed all of my clothes, a few important books, and electrical gadgets in a duffel bag and carry-on. That is what I will live out of for the foreseeable future. I've chosen to roam and I don't know when or where I'll stop. I have some preliminary plans to stay in Europe for most of the next eight months or so, but who knows where I'll be when. I'm in Dublin, Ireland right now, will be at DrupalCon San Francisco in April and intend to live in Copenhagen, Denmark this summer. That's about all I have sketched out.

Spreading the love and doing the work

In the past few weeks I have been building myself up to get back on track with my role as Doc Lead in the Drupal community. I've been off radar for quite a while now (since last fall) and I'm finally getting my feet under me to tackle the work of docs again. In the time that I was out of it though, it was too obvious that there needed to be some changes in how I (and the Drupal community) approach this whole documentation team thing. There were a few other people out there who had expressed the same concerns to me and so I sat down with them to kick around what we need to change. We came up with two fundamental shifts in how we do things as a team: communication and coordination. I think this will take a lot of pressure off of a number of people, myself included, as well as let the community take even more ownership of documentation and play a role in the steering of the ship, even if the captain sometimes goes AWOL.

Next steps for Drupal domination

It has been a while since I've been on radar, but with Drupal 7 fast approaching and Drupal living in the White House, we need to keep focus on one the keys to Drupal domination: documentation. Here is a little status update on where the Drupal docs world is these days and what's coming up next. (As an aside, I've been distracted from Drupal for a little while due to other things going on in my life, but hope to jump back into the fray by the end of the year.)

The Travel Wall

This year I've been traveling a lot. My Dopplr report for the first half of 2009 says I spent 69 of 181 days on the road. From April 1 to July 31, I spent exactly 50% of my time away from home. It is all for a great cause, making Drupal documentation better, and it sounds exciting to be such a jet-setter, but it isn't really all that glamorous. Maybe if I was in my 20s again and single it would be a more exciting year, but popping in and out of home life and a relationship, spending long periods of time completely out of my element, often all alone and not speaking the local language, is just not as sexy an experience as it sounds. Working, presenting and moving around suck up most of my time, so I've had limited opportunity to even get to explore where I visit.

Drupal handbooks IA work begins

The top priority in the Drupal documentation roadmap that was published earlier this summer was to reorganize the information architecture (IA) of the handbooks to make them easier to use and maintain. Becca Scollan volunteered to take the lead and she has been researching and building out a plan of attack. We are now at a good stage to start doing some work that the whole community can engage in. Instead of trying to tackle the whole thing, our first foray will be limited to the Theming Guide handbook only. We are going to begin looking at and tagging our existing content with an eye towards a new way of thinking about it. We have added some new vocabularies to just the pages in the theming handbook and we need folks to go through and assign terms. Instead of just random tagging, we need to keep some overall concepts in mind. There are guidelines that can be referred to, so that the terms we use will be most useful for the following steps in the process.

Drupal 7 docs depend on you

Drupal 7 is coming and it has a ton of UI changes with the D7UX lovefest that has been going on, in addition to a some very different APIs. This time around it'd be extra nice if we had up-to-date documentation when our beloved Drupal 7 hits the streets. Few want to write it, but many sure bitch when it isn't there. ;-) Drupal 6 was a little, um, lacking out of the gate, and it took us quite a while to get even the basics filled out. We'd like to avoid a repeat of that situation. To that end we have started to organize ourselves to make sure to cover all aspects of Drupal 7 from end user to API. We had the first D7 docs meeting on July 10 and another on July 31. We'll have two more, during August, before code freeze and Drupalcon Paris in September. The plan is to start on work we can tackle now, while in thaw, and plan out what we need to do as soon as freeze hits. We'll have two doc sprint days in Paris and we'd like to take full advantage of them for Drupal 7 by having a game plan already set up.

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