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Impressions from T3DD with quotes from more speakers and attendees.
What’s Up, Docs?
TYPO3 Developer Days is a great event to meet other developers and remind everyone that documentation is important and that everyone can contribute.
We plan to keep up our efforts until - finally - all online documentation on docs.typo3.org is up to date. But it is also important to us that contributing is a good experience - that is a focus we already have and where any help is appreciated!
We held three sessions at Developer Days:
An overview of the state of TYPO3 documentation, what we achieved and what we plan to do,
A session where we collected feedback and ideas from the community.
For us, the Developer Days event was very motivating because a number of people expressed interest not only in contributing but also wanted to inspire colleagues to participate in the documentation. Having already prepared instructions for contribution proved to be helpful for a successful entry for newcomers.
A steady stream of pull requests has been received. The new contributors were particularly pleased about the timely consolidation of the contributions and their publication. So they were able to experience how easily and quickly their input improves TYPO3 documentation.
Let’s hear from the contributors
TYPO3 Developer since 2005
When I saw the “Edit me on Github” button for the first time in the official TYPO3 documentation I thought “Who am I to edit the official TYPO3 documentation?!” However, when I found an obvious error (typo in code) I hit that button and sent in a correction. The response from the Docs Team was instant and positive so I felt encouraged to submit some more small changes. However, doing large scale edits in the GitHub editor was tiresome and I didn’t dare either.
So when a talk about documentation was offered on the T3DD19 I decided to meet the guys behind the nice Github Accounts. I learned that you can clone the documentation repository and work on it offline, that there are editors with syntax highlighting to support you, that the team is constantly trying to improve both rendering and content. And that it is a very small team and happy about any help they can get.
So I decided to spend the coding night on documentation instead of coding. In order to understand something, you have to dig deep into how the core code is working. And you have to correctly note the differences between the versions. This can be as challenging as contributing to the core. Chances are much more people will actually read what you have written. The code is usually not enough documentation by itself as anyone will know who worked on a project with a lack thereof.
Coming from the typo3.org Team with which the Documentation Team already worked closely together and even sprinted, I always was quite intrigued to contributing, so the Developer Days were a perfect chance to get more into it.
I attended all Documentation-related talks and joined the following brainstorming session, which was really nice because the main focus was lowering the barrier of entry not just for future contributors to the documentation, but also beginners that start out with TYPO3 as a whole. We managed to identify some issues and propose solutions. There are way more things we didn't cover, but for a 6-people discussion over 90 minutes we were quite productive!
At the Coding Night, we formed a small group of 3 to aid the Documentation Team with frontend work, improving the design of a global search system, which initially was thrown in to "just work". 4 hours of work and a lot of fun later, we submitted our Pull Request for review when the clock struck midnight! We already got feedback shortly after, and just around breakfast time in the morning, it was merged!
As in previous years, I was really looking forward to see familiar faces and get new insights.
In the program, there were several lectures announced by the Documentation Team, from whom I had already heard from on previous TYPO3 camps.
Since I’ve been working on contributions to the documentation myself, and I knew the lack of support in the Team, I decided briefly to visit the lectures this year. A detailed introduction to the collaboration was well prepared by the Team. We were quickly trained, and I could steadily arrange my own development environment to comply with my own needs.
I gained experience through the development in TYPO3 core, small contributions and reviews, and via exchange with other developers. I can easily carry these experiences into the work with documentation. That’s why I’ve decided, during the DEV-days in Karlsruhe, to contribute a part of my future free resources to help to improve the documentation. I look forward to meeting people from the Documentation Team again.
More About TYPO3 Documentation
Official Docs: Writing TYPO3 Documentation
Blog post: New documentation infrastructure
Blog post: Docs team at the sprint in Wiesbaden