Dinda's Foss Blog

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FlossManuals/Google Documentation Summit

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I’m fortunate to be included in the group attending the Floss Manuals & Google hosted event Documentation Summit. Four really worthwhile and interesting projects were chosen and several freelancers (like myself) are also helping out. The format is part unconference and part book sprint. The goals are promote dialog among the various FOSS folks as well as produce a book about each project in three days. Pretty ambitious!

Dialog is easy, there is never a lack of ideas and suggestions. The projects include KDE, OpenStreet Map, Sahana and OpenMRS. Sahana is an emergency relief and disaster planning project and OpenMRS is a Medical Records System for developing areas. These were the two projects I knew the least about coming into the event but both have greatly impressed me with their scope and team members.

The books will be available for download by this weekend so I’ll update everyone on where to find them. Also, if you’re a developer looking to scratch an itch and help folks, one of these projects might be for you! If you’re a System Admin or make recommendations to organizations who might need a great OpenMRS or disaster planning software, we’ll have a book for you at the end of the week.

Follow the event on twitter #docsummit #flossmanuals

Written by dindafoss

October 18, 2011 at 8:45 am

Posted in foss, ubuntu

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Kidsoncomputers.org Edubuntu Installfest at OSCON

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If anyone is going to OSCON next week, please stop by the Kidsoncomputers.org booth:


The Expo is 27-28th (Wed-Thurs) next week. They will be collecting donations both days all day and will do an install-fest using Edubuntu on both days from 1-4pm. KOC is an amazing group of volunteers who have already setup several Edubuntu labs in the US and Mexico.

Please spread the word!!!!!

Written by dindafoss

July 21, 2011 at 10:15 am

Posted in education, foss, ubuntu

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Book Review: Conversation and Community

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I just finished Anne Gentle’s book, Conversation and Community; The Social Web for Documentation, aimed at technical communicators in the web 2.0 times.  It’s a great guide to anyone looking to work on documentation, marketing or training using collaborative tools and hoping to engage a community to help you along the way.  Anne draws on her years of experience as a technical writer first with BMC software, then as a volunteer for OLPC.  She’s now with Open Stack and that shows you just how important documentation is to that project; they hired a pro from the start to get things going.

The book chronicles the rise of wiki and other collaborative writing tools that allow anyone to write and edit alongside the need of projects and companies to provide accurate technical documentation.  It also discusses the role of the technical communicator as an important part of the software development process.  Yes, there is a role for professional writers and editors in FLOSS projects and it’s worth paying for.  If you have any doubts, Andy Oram of O’Reilly offers this wonderful quote in his foreward to the book:

“Take the lead to develop and train your community to use a powerful, interactive educational system, and their productivity will soar.”

Anne’s blog can be found at: http://justwriteclick.com/ The book is available on Amazon.

And put June 3 – 5, 2011 on your calendar if you’re interested in documentation, training or anything to do with open help systems for FOSS projects.  Anne, Shaun McCance, myself, and others are putting together a small conference in Cincinnatti, Ohio aimed at everything around writing open source where you’re guaranteed to meet at least 50% of the people on this list of top open source technical writers.  We hope you’ll join our conversation.

Written by dindafoss

November 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm