Documentation Dekspace

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Mick, And, Zoe, James, Saul, Adam, Adnan, Sameer.


  • workshop on how to use the floss manuals system and give a presentation about the floss style guide and good manual writing tips.
  • chance to work out how the wiki > pdf technology works.
  • map out what resources exist and how not to duplicate efforts work
  • date for us to have a draft of a guide for creating manuals based on what adam and becky have done
  • place to air any questions or worries about writing the guides. ie things that are inconsistant / unclear
  • bang on again about help files that start from where users are at (eg you want to do 'this'? then download this software, install it like that. set it up like this, click here, then there, change that setting etc etc etc, then you will have done 'this'!) rather than from the softwares (here is a software, one of many, it works like this, another works like that, you can do what you want!) which just leaves new users confused by options.
  • clear simple explanations of why use the free software, what each tool offers that is better than something else (non floss) out there that people might have heard of and found easier to use, but keep that explanation very separate from the step by step, idiot-proof user guidance process.

Day 1

  • 12.30 - Introductions and agenda setting
  • 1.00 - Introduction to floss mechanism Introduction by Adam on how to use the FLOSS Manuals (and suitcase manuals) documentation mechanism.
  • 2.00 - lunch
  • 2.30 - writing documentation
  • 5.00 - videoconference
  • 6.00 - drinkies

See rough notes at DocsIrcLogDay1

Day 2

Finally I think we should discuss the possibility of a follow up event, perhaps slightly larger, and perhaps the organisation of a documentation event.

  • 11.00 - engineer documentation method via practical scenario
  • 13.00 - lunch
  • 13.30 - continue with practical project
  • 15.00 - Prioritising what documentation to do
  • 17.00 - discuss event two/where to?

Rough Minutes

Flossmanuals demo / Discussions

  • Adam points us to as a potential source of inspiration
  • How do we implement the useful bits of this this?
  • With Flossmanuals, we are also wondering about how to do include navigation in other people's sites.
  • xml/rdf/rss export - We discussed flossmanuals/suitcase manuals as being a form of version control repository for documentation that could be exported in various forms that people could them import into their site, much like they do with an rss feed. A modular structure would make this very flexible and also allow people to annotate the docs for their own purposes.

Engineer documentation method via practical scenario

Some questions/ideas

  • Modularity is key to the process
  • Remixing and adding the glue to build guides remixing from different modules
  • need to decide at what point you include different modules
  • dependencies
  • diagnostic versus instructional?
  • need to start with some simple premises - user skill level etc.
  • set a guide as to how to write it - ie define the audience
  • if we are aimed at new users then we have very specific and prescribed paths.
  • how do we want it to materialise on the website
  • a lot of this stuff already exists - faqs etc. We're finding/aggregating the best practices
  • how we want it to look on the page?
  • eg. everything should stay on the one page

Mind map we created -

Brainstorm ideas for Guides

  • how to play video files
  • how to subscribe to a vodcast
  • how to add subtitles
  • how to do a screening
  • how to create a dvd from a file you have downloaded
  • Encoding video to various formats for the web including mp4, ogg and xvid
  • Exporting video from editing applications ready for encoding
  • Creating video podcasts
  • Creating and displaying subtitle files to distribute online with your encoded files
  • Create a multi-lingual DVD using subtitle files
  • Choosing and installing a video Content Management system.

Preparing Video

  • Embedded Video
  • Download Video

DVD creation

  • how to get your video into an mpeg2 file
  • from your project
  • from existing DVD
  • DVD authoring - different applications
  • subtitle creation

Playing and receiving video

  • subscribing to vodcasts in democracy
  • playing video
  • retransmitting video - eg. screenings, micro-TV, USB
  • turn a series of files into a DVD/VCD

(note: think about backwards compatibility and being tactical)

Preparing Video

  • Encoding
  • ogg - ffmpeg2theora
  • flash - FOSS tools to transcode to flash
  • creating a multilingual subtitled video file using matroska

(note, issue of where is the source file from..?)

Publishing Video Online

  • Uploading to your own website
  • Uploading to video sharing sites
  • Drupal
  • Plumi
  • Free services
  • Syndicating Content
  • add complete metadata for clean feeds
  • Establishing a CMS
  • Drupal
  • Plumi
  • Vodcasting
  • feedburner
  • video bomb
  • yr own drupal site (inc setting it up)
  • your own blog
  • plumi
  • Embedded Video
  • uploading to sites that do the transcoding automatically
  • creating yr own flv file and putting it on your site manually
  • using cortado to add embedded video to your site
  • Streaming
  • encoding to appropriate format

record, encode, upload, syndicate, distribute

Current Documentation Resources

Ideas Space

  • Offline licensing/publishing/promoting manual - adnan
  • creating a method for video suitcase to make step through guides
  • find a plugin that allows you to edit the map yourself to edit resources so anyone could come along and add a link. Research would be in finding the resources and those that don't exist.
 * a series of paths with multiple start points at different steps


  • iSquint
  • mpeg streamclip

IRC Logs