December 18, 2009
first book sprint is over
Our first book sprint was a great kick-off for our effort to write the Etoys Reference Manual. Here you can read how it went and how we plan to go on:
We started the sprint on Monday, December 7th, with a first discussion about the structure, target audience and FLOSS Manuals. We started writing the first parts then and met again for an audio call on Tuesday. We had a longer discussion and agreed on the structure now available on the wiki page:
On the other days I had audio chats with Cherry, Randy and Stephen Thomas, mostly about upcoming issues. We used mostly Sykpe for that, sometimes the FLOSS Manuals chat and some things has been discussed by email.
Where re we now? The manual isn't finished yet, but we made great progress! It is amazing how many things you can discover within Etoys. Randy had several discusison with Yoshiki about World Stethoscope, and now so much information, which previously only existed in the minds of some experts, is going to be available for everyone.
The state of the book in FLOSS manuals related to the outline on the wiki:
The "Introduction" and "Getting Started" chapters are not yet covered. Christine and Karl have been working on the User Interface chapter, namely Halo, Start Screen, Toolbar, Script Editor, Sketching and Viewer. The chapters aren't complete yet, and Overview, Projects, and Keyboard Shortcuts are missing.
The "Common Tiles" chapter consists of a list of tiles to be covered with some explanations already done, it has all ballon help text, but more elaborate explanation is needed.
The most work has been done in the "Objects" chapter, thanks to Randy, Cherry and Stephen. There is only one empty chapter, 5.1 World. The other chapters are in different stages, some only need images, some need more text and we didn't clean up the paragraph yet (regarding the description of PART PIECES).
Regarding images: I'm in contact with FLOSS manuals maintainer to have our images bulk uploaded. As soon as the images are on the server, we can start and add them to the chapters. After that, the first chapters are ready for reviewing. I think, the images are needed to do this, because they will help to understand the text. Reviewing should be done in regard to correctness and understanding. So there will be a mail to the list and all reviewers once we have the first chapters ready!
For now, we will keep working on the manuals as our time allows. We are thinking about a second book sprint week in mid February or March, to finish the book.
We already created some issues on the tracker about the bugs we discovered while playing with Etoys extensively. There are also still several questions in some chapters of the book. I will try to put them on a list very soon and put it on the wiki to get the answers.
Finally, I have to say that I'm very grateful to be part of this effort, it is wonderful to work together with all of you and the others who participated in the book sprint.