066/365: Drupalcon DC Doc SprintToday's Documentation Sprint at DrupalCon DC was a brilliantly productive success! For folks who are unfamiliar with the sprint concept, as I was before today, here's what happened: folks gathered both physically in DC and virtually on IRC (#drupal-docs) to come up with a list of documentation tasks that need tackling. We then divided up into small, ad-hoc teams to collaboratively tackle those tasks.

By our conservative estimate, more than 70 people showed up in person. Folks also participated online in a great demonstration of the potential for real-time collaboration despite geographical distance. All of the work was done in the hopes of creating cleaner, clearer, and more accessible and useful documentation for members of the Drupal community, whatever their skill level or familiarity with Drupal might be. Likewise, people at all levels of familiarity and experience with Drupal participated in the documentation sprint itself.

067/365: Cat herderOur sprint organizers, including add1sun and the many other Cat Herders whose names I unfortunately don't know, did a tremendous job of guiding documentation newbies and old hats alike through the sprint process, and we owe them much gratitude for helping everyone else do excellent work today. (If you're one of the people who took on the difficult Cat Herder role, please speak up in the comments! And if they don't, other people should give them shout outs!)

Here's a glimpse into the accomplishments of the day. This is a very incomplete list, and individual attributions are here only when they were very obvious so many tasks and names are not explicitly mentioned here. I strongly encourage folks to talk more about their work and accomplishments in the comments! Please, toot your own horns and get the appreciation you deserve from your community!

  • In one of the major undertakings of the day, folks reviewed existing documentation for comments that included information that should be rolled into their parent pages, then deleting the rolled-in comments to avoid redundancy. ceardach, bryan kennedy, and Senpai helped develop a great system for keeping track of which comments needed deletion and which had been deleted, and tons of other folks helped review, report, and delete unneeded comments (including sepeck, who helped from home, and bsmirnov, who helped review this post I'm writing while we rode the BoltBus back to NYC!) Check out this issue filed by ceardach to find out what's left to be done on this task; if you look at the lists of comments that have been or still need deletion you'll also see the handles of many of the other folks who worked on this.
  • rootwork redrafted the Theming Views 2 page, integrating information from the comments there and two external guides.
  • bmoreinis and baronmunchowsen updated the Advertisement module documentation, incorporating files from CVS into the Handbook for both Drupal 5 and 6.
  • A breakout group met to discuss the current organization of the documentation section, with an eye to usability issues and architecture. A meeting will soon be held in Toronto to plan for a Documentation redesign, and today's group brainstormed ideas to take to that meeting.
  • margaux, laken, LeeHunter, me and many others did tons of work on the Handbook style and structure pages. Folks working in the Meta group and elsewhere also collaborated on the new Drupal.org documentation vocabularies, which are explained on the Handbook structure page.

As a complete newbie to documentation, sprints, and DrupalCons, I thought that the documentation sprint was an excellent way to get involved with the community and make a meaningful contribution to the Drupal project. The sprint was also the perfect way to finish off a wonderful five days of building connections and knowledge. I encourage folks at all levels of expertise to participate in future sprints, whether physically or virtually present!


abhigupta’s picture

Check here for all the updates that were made to the Handbook


jinlong’s picture

thank you for your hard work!


emmajane’s picture

Wow what an awesome sprint yesterday! I came a little bit late and was totally AMAZED by how many people were there and already working. Having a cat herder shepherd me to the right table was just AWESOME and an absolutely brilliant idea. Congrats to everyone who participated in person and online. Thanks for all your energy and for the super amazing work that was accomplished. Here's to rockin' the docs and our rockin' team!

johnbarclay’s picture

At the documentation sprint we started an accessibility page:


and a couple child pages.

jackalope’s picture

Thanks for the info - I wasn't able to find info on Saturday for what every group did, so I'm glad you saw this post and added this. The Accessibility info is both helpful and crucial - thanks for working on it!

grandmaa’s picture

Grandmaa wishes this success and prays it does not suffer from "too many cooks" syndrome

imoria’s picture

Keep up the great work Drupal is amazing......


margaux’s picture

Hugemongous thanks to the whole documentation team and all the folks who came out to the sprint on Saturday! We had a great time, and made a ton of progress. This project is central to Drupal's success, and to getting out to the larger world, and I'm glad to see so much enthusiasm for it. You are all fabulous!!

And Jack -- thanks for the awesome post about it!!

jackalope’s picture

No problem, Margaux - it was fun to write it all up!

bryan kennedy’s picture

I'm really glad you all organized this event. It was fun to get back involved with the documentation process.

David Naian’s picture

Short stepin as an observer.

I'm really glad to see that the often mentioned necessity of a Drupal.org Documentation Task Force came finally to a reality. I really congratulate to all people involved and hope that many other documentation features will be well organized and at hand for all users that join the great Drupal Community and love to give their contributions.

Great Work Folks!


redndahead’s picture

Although not mentioned in this post there was a small group of us taking screen shots of drupal. We were able to take images of the entire admin/* path as well as about 30% of the other paths. This adds up to over 300 screen shots! To find out more about this effort see this link http://drupal.org/node/392660

einsteinsboi’s picture

I wish I could have been able to make it, I'm particularly interested in documentation because that's the heart of learning Drupal. I plan to help out as much as I can as I learn more, so maybe you'll see me soon in one of the documentation sprints!

jhodgdon’s picture

We also had a big table of coders present. Most of us were working through API-documentation issues in the main Drupal issue queue (fixing comments in the PHP source code that are used to build api.drupal.org, which is the main indispensable reference for Drupal coders and really needs to be right). A small group also worked on researching CVS commands for a new module that will make a tab on contrib modules that explains what CVS commands can be used to develop them.

It's great to see that at least some coders are interested in good documentation!

David Strauss’s picture

"Will"? I deployed the CVS instruction module that evening. :-)

jackalope’s picture

I just noticed that CVS tab at the top of a module page - very helpful! Many thanks to folks who worked on it!

add1sun’s picture

So I've said it a lot since Saturday, but I'll say it again: Thank you to everyone that worked their butts off. And thanks to those that keep on too. I really don't remember all of the cat herders, but I do know Cindy, Margaux and Justus (dellintosh) did. I gave out quite a few more buttons than that, and there were people heading things up that didn't get a button as well, so if you know other cat herders, please list 'em here.

Margaux also wrote up a lil blog post about Saturday and if you find more around the interwebs feel free to link to them from the comments.

I'm so excited about what this year in docs will be.

Drupalize.Me, The best Drupal training, available all the time, anywhere!

dellintosh’s picture

Jessica (uberchic) and I roped add1sun into this BoF and I just uploaded the video that Jessica filmed for it. Some discussion about the (then upcoming) documentation sprint, but also lots of other great ideas were discussed for the future of Drupal documentation!

Check it out here.

Thank you again to all who were at the sprint (both in body and virtually around the world) and also a big thank you to all who help improve documentation regularly! :)


joachim’s picture

Whoa that's wayyy more many people than we had in Szeged!
Sorry I couldn't be there.