Tuesday, August 30, 2005

aKademy: Me three! (or, "Argh!")

Apologies to those reading on Planet KDE for the blank post - either the blogger editor or my checkout of Konqueror managed to eat my whole post. Let me see if I can remember it...

My fourth day at aKademy, and it's shaping up to be a good one. Aaron and Waldo were definitely worth getting up for, giving a useful and entertaining (of course!) presentation on "Marketing for Geeks." Their ideas were fairly simple, but important. I think we can take a lot of it on board in the docs team, or more specifically, the projects that go on "around" the docs team - for example, the Features Guide.

Next up, Rainer presented his work on creating multimedia presentations from desktop captures. This has great potential for documentation - descriptions of actions that go "click on this, then on that, then enable the other, then ..." can be wearing both to write and to read (see, for example, this section of the userguide which I wrote). Showing a direct demonstration is a much better option for the user. When the technical issues are ironed out (and most of them are, as Rainer demonstrated), this technology should certainly be able to find a place in KDE docs.

The "aKademy appreciation awards," a new idea from Brad Hards, were presented straight afterwards, in a well-attended lecture theatre. It was great to see recognition for the docs team, with Lauri taking away (in spirit, at least - she hasn't yet got here) the award for non-coding contribution. Certainly well deserved: Lauri's knowledge of both the community and technology of KDE, and all the work she puts in, much of it in backstage jobs that are invisible to most people, are invaluable both to the KDE project in general and the docs team in particular.

With all that already done, there's plenty left to do for the rest of the day - Lauri arrives sometime soon, so docs work will probably start in earnest. There's PDF generation work to do, along with, I expect, an "invitation" (arm-twisting :-) to write another aKademy day report. I want to chase up a few people, and try out some of the tools Rainer demonstrated. Should keep me busy.


At 12:37 PM, Blogger liquidat said...

The konqueror-eats-up-my-postings: I know that konqueror does not support the preview function of blogger - maybe that's the reason?


At 4:55 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Hi Mate

I am reading some of your kde tutorial stuff and it is great. Thank you for taking the time to make this stuff understandable to even the worst of luddites like myself.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Philip Rodrigues said...

liquidat: yeah, it was when I clicked on the preview link that everything got swallowed. Hrm, and I thought that used to work...

colin: thanks for the kind words, they help make the job feel worthwhile :-). Hopefully, "moving screenshots" will make it even easier to understand. You can take a look at http://features.physos.net/ for some examples of how we can use the technique to demonstrate new features, and of course the same thing applies for documentation. If you have any other thoughts, or would like to help, drop me a line: phil (at) kde (dot) org.


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