[OSGeoLive] Write The Docs - looking for a friendly project?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 02:42:17 PST 2019

Hi Deepti,

Great to hear that you are interested in helping with documentation. You 
have some really good questions, which I'm looping into our OSGeoLive 
email list as there are others writers who I think will be interested in 
the answer, and others on our email list who may have more suggestions.

On 27/2/19 7:24 am, Deepti Korwar wrote:
> <snip>
> Now coming to the open source project, I have some questions as I have 
> never contributed to open source projects:
> 1. Typically, how many hours per week do other writers spend on your 
> project?

I think most volunteer Open Source developers and writers typically work 
in bursts, working around other life events, typically working intensely 
for a few weeks or months, then backing off for a while, then getting 
more intense again.

While active, as a bare minimum I'd suggest you'd be involved 1 hour a 
week at our weekly chat meeting (using an IRC chat program).

To work on a specific initiative, I'd suggest you probably would be 
looking at 2 to 8 hours per week for weeks to months.

> 2. How do they interact with SMEs? Is it during Australian business 
> hours? Telephone or email?

Different projects use different forums. Our OSGeoLive project mostly 
uses email, and IRC chat. But video conferences like skype is sometimes 
used to connect with other OSGeo projects. I haven't seen much use of 
the phone.

We have a private list of contact people for each of our 50+ projects, 
and we can and do reach out to them (via email) to ask for help with doc 

To date, our OSGeoLive team is very multi-national, finding a timeslot 
we can all meet at is tricky. However, in tech writing there is often 
one-on-one discussions which can be set up to work between different 
time zones. Slotting in with an Australian business hours will work 
sometimes, but not always. But being a volunteer, you can decide what 
you decide to volunteer for and set boundaries on when you are available.

> 3. What is the documentation workflow? How do writers access the docs, 
> get them reviewed, published?

Our workflow is currently moving between two processes. This page 
provides links between the two:


(Of great value would be if a tech writer could review and clean up 
these docs.)

> 4. Can I share my writing contributions, as work samples, with 
> prospective employers?
Yes, everything we write is stored and published publicly.
> I would definitley like to contribute, but just need to understand the 
> sort of commitment required. I have been planning to work 4 days a 
> week and spend 1 day on the things I like (like these other projects); 
> I still need to get this sorted out at my current workplace.
I hope these answers help. We are in the process of starting our new 
build cycle, and one of our goals for this release is to attract a 
number of new projects. This will require Project Overviews and 
Quickstarts for the projects which you might want to help write?
> Thanks,
> Deepti
> On 22/2/19 9:50 pm, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> Hi Deepti,
>> Thanks, I liked your talk too. I liked the way you were explaining 
>> how to jump the gap from being a writer to being a technically savvy 
>> writer. (And I understand how much time you must have put into this).
>> You are indeed the sort of person who would be great at helping to 
>> bridge the writer to techie gap I was talking about. Hence, I'm so 
>> glad that you have reached out. Would you be interested in joining 
>> our documentation initiative in the OSGeoLive project I work with: 
>> http://live.osgeo.org ? (We are a meta project for packaging and high 
>> level documentation of ~ 50 geospatial open source projects).
>> The growth of our documentation has stumbled in the last few releases 
>> - due to lack of tech writing capacity, and our next hurdle would be 
>> to tackle one of the harder documentation types - like standardising 
>> tutorials and/or workshops.  However I've noticed a recent renewed 
>> interest from a few users and documenters which makes me think we are 
>> getting very close to being ready to start breaking a new glass 
>> ceiling. It will be challenging, but will be very impactful if we can 
>> get the critical mass moving.
>> Oh, and we have access to willing and helpful developers.
>> Does this sound of interest?
>> PS: My presentation is here: 
>> http://cameronshorter.blogspot.com/2019/02/inspiring-techies-to-become-great.html
>> Warm regards, Cameron
Cameron Shorter
Technology Demystifier
Open Technologies and Geospatial Consultant

M +61 (0) 419 142 254

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/osgeolive/attachments/20190227/abde745b/attachment.html>

More information about the osgeolive mailing list