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.
Just one month from today I'm going to get three days of hanging out with brilliant folks from a number of open source projects to talk shop, brainstorm and generally have a great time. I'm heading to the Writing Open Source conference up in Canada from June 12-14. In the true spirit of open source, we're coming together to help each other out. The conference is about collaboration, learning, and getting stuff done. We all have a lot to gain and I hope that anyone who can get there, makes the effort.
Doing documentation in open source is often hard, doing it well is even harder. All projects have to struggle with this in some way and, in true open source community spirit, why don't we get together and help each other? I'm excited to spread the word that the open source world is going to get its very own documentation conference. I've been in on a new conference/unconference/sprint being planned for this June up in the great province of Ontario, Canada, called Writing Open Source. The idea was born last fall between a few conversations that Emma Jane Hogbin had with myself and Belinda Lopez. Emma was all crazy-talking about a whole conference just focusing on documentation and I couldn't resist such an awesome idea. Then the talking turned into planning, we got a space (in a library, no less!), some totally awesomely delicious catering, a domain name and now registration is open!
As much as my cohort and friend walkah takes digs at sprints ;-), I myself am a huge fan, caught up in the giddy wave of "getting shit done" while hanging around with a bunch of geeks eating Pringles and ice cream. With the Knight Foundation awarding me money to make it happen in the name of all documentation goodness, I am getting ready to rumble.
A grand tradition of Drupalcons is to end with a day of sprinting. Sprints are most often associated with a bunch of hackers chewing on code. Well, our community is more than code or coders. We are a rich community both in people and in the broader work we do to keep Drupal-land humming smoothly along. At this Drupalcon, like the last two, we'll be having an all-day documentation sprint on the last day, March 7. This year we will be a bit more organized and we have a whole room set aside just for us. And just who is "us?" This year a big goal of mine is to really get the word out that everyone can help with docs. We need people from all skill sets, backgrounds and languages; newbie to code ninja. Documentation work is not just about writing. Even taking one hour to hop in to help will push Drupal forward in leaps and bounds.
I had a great time at SANDcamp this weekend. It was great to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a while and I met lots of cool people. Most of the time I was trying to suck them into the Drupal community. ;-) My keynote was "It's the people, stupid!" and I've attached the slides here. I had great feedback from the presentation and we had some recurring jokes from it running through the weekend. I also want to thank everyone that stopped by the documentation sprint. That was a blast. We got lots of new eyes on the docs and I got most of the demo site for the new core Help system patch set up (more on that in a day or two).
This weekend, I'm headed out to sunny San Diego for my first Drupal event of the year, SANDcamp. I can't wait to see my friends, meet new people and generally geek out for a few days. I'm excited for a lot of reasons and while basking in the warmth of SoCal is definitely something to be excited about, there will be lots of Drupal goodness too. We're looking to have around 100 Drupalers come together from all over for two full days, for free even. If you haven't signed up yet, you better get on it.
We wrapped up Do it with Drupal (DIWD [dūd] to those in the know) a few days ago and after slogging through email and catching up on the rest of life, I've had some time to begin digesting it all. Spoiler: it was awesome. I say that as an attendee and as a worker-bee. On the worker-bee side there are lots of reasons that I didn't want to run screaming and crying into the night, mostly due to great work by our organizing team. On the attendee side, I got to see lots of great presentations and chat with really interesting folks.