English version

From our talk with Max, couples of weeks ago one idea that come up was to advertise a bit more on the French community documentation that we've been writing for 4 years. To do so, I just want to introduce it to you quickly with this post.

This documentation is hosted on the fedora-fr server under the url http://doc.fedora-fr.org. Therefore, It has no link with the official Fedora Project (and clearly claims it).

= The principle =

This documentation is powered by mediawiki. The writers are people from the community that one day chose to write something about a subject or a problem they have been busy with.

When you want to contribute the rules are pretty simple. You subscribe to the French documentation mailing-list, show up, present yourself with few words (giving your first and last name) and from this presentation the admin of the documentation opens you an account on the wiki.

The first and last name are mandatory in the document since all the accounts are of the type 'FirstNameLastName'. This is also in order that people contribute under their name not their nickname. What we want to achieve here is that people that get involved feels they are involving themselves not an anonymous, but as the person they are. We consider it as a personal involvement.

One of the first thing you should do when you have an account is filling your user's page with few words to introduce yourself.

Once you are a member of the team and you have your account, you can directly correct the articles for minor changes (typo, spelling mistakes...), however for major changes on the structure of an article or to suggest a new article you first have to show up in the mailing list: "Hey dude, I would like to write something about that, I am thinking to use the following structure, any advice ?"

This helps to discuss a bit more the content of some articles, it also allows to control the content of the documentation but as you will see later the content of the documentation is rather broad and the number of suggestions that have been refused since I am in the team (January 2007) is really low (I can't remember any actually...), and when it happens it is because it is considered that there is already enough howto available on the net and the subject is not clearly related to Fedora.

If there are no remarks against your proposal you can start to write your article directly, you have to set the template "In progress" and to add it to the corresponding table. For the layout there are clear guidelines on how to write an article in order to keep a coherent structure overall the documentation.

When the article is finished, you ask for a review by removing it from the table "In progress" and adding it to the table "Waiting for review". There someone picks it up, corrects the spelling, can ask question if he does not understand or wants more. At the end, He is the one that publish the article and remove it from the table.

To conclude about the principles let's summary them:

  • Involving yourself (give your first and last name), is the only constraint to register
  • Present yourself in your user's page
  • Major change and new articles are presented and debated on the mailing list
  • Use the guideline when you are writing
  • Do not forget to add it in the right table and to use the right categories.

= The documentation =

I introduced you the main principle to become a member of the French documentation team, the main idea was to explain you how it works here before introducing you what are the results of this organization.

The results are:

  • 84 members
  • 316 pages
  • 27 categories

That's for the figures. But more than the figure what's interesting are the contents.

Here follows some of the pages that attract lot's of people:

There are also some documentation about other subjects:

I should not forget to speak about the large category of the wiki about the games ! Those 35 articles explain what are the games available and how to install them (they do not explain how you should enjoy them ;-) )

There is also a pdf version of the documentation for offline use when you are in the train trying to set up your wireless :-D (Thanks Pascal for that !)

= Conclusion =

I tried to introduce you some of the main features of this documentation and the principle that we used to set it up. Basically it is a documentation made by users for users, it quite often relies on subject/question that have been seen often on our forum (and I could say: "so often that at the end someone want to write something about it in order to not keep repeating himself").

We do realize that we are lucky with the team of people we have there. I should point out people like Nicolas who wrote most of the documentation about the configuration of the wireless cards or Hervé who was there at the beginning and gave us very good article on subject like GRUB, or Patrice who's knowledge on real time processing is so high that we had trouble to find people able to review his article before publication ;-) There are too many people so that I can't mention them all (I apologize to those that I did not) but I can't do but mention Johan who is the leader of the French documentation, he is the one that keep bothering everyone on the mailing list in order to obtain this result of quantity and quality ! Thanks ! ;-)

So there I am, I hope you did not get bored. As I explained my goal was just to introduce what the French community has been writing for the past years. If you are interesting in the content I would guess that google translate is probably not perfect and would need some work to make something out of it, but at least it gives you an idea :-D

Thanks for reading me up to there ! Enjoy your reading !! :-D

I also would like to thank Thomas the French community leader whose help is also really appreciated :D