I’ve been busy lately working on plans for a Floss Manuals BookSprint. A BookSprint is a week-long concentrated effort of technical writers getting together to create a manual for free, libre open source software products. BookSprints are like a workshop where writers come together to learn how to write good user documentation. BookSprints are also a social experience where writers come together to form a community who share common goals and experiences.
Writers are giving a week’s time to be curators of information housed in wikis and websites everywhere, bringing it all together into the FLOSS Manual TWiki implementation to be ready for online viewing or gorgeous print output. If you’re interested in joining us for a day or all week, we’d love to have you. We’re planning to invite local students to the event also.
This picture shows the recent Inkscape BookSprint held in Paris France. We’re planning to hold the XO/Sugar BookSprint here in Austin, but I’m guessing the collection of laptops and cables will be the same here as there!
In this case, we’ll produce a comprehensive manual for the kids, families, and teachers using the little green XO laptop. While the manual that exists at flossmanuals.net/olpc_simple is a targeted effort, it is outdated for the new line drawn between hardware (XO) and operating system (Sugar). Our hope is to expand the manual in advance of the new expanded Give 1 Get 1 program will give educators and children a chance to learn about their laptop, repair it, program with it, and teach others.
What can you do to help? Right now, I’m raising money and asking for in-kind donations to help with this concentrated effort. Here are some ideas, although you can come up with creative ideas yourself if you want!
$500 would provide hotel accommodations for a writer
$250 would provide a catered lunch for all the writers
$100 would provide gas money for many writers all week
Updated to add: You can also directly give donations at http://en.flossmanuals.net/donate.
An exciting aspect of this BookSprint is the international effort behind it. Adam Hyde, founder of Floss Manuals, is planning to make the trek to Austin from Amsterdam, and there’s a French Floss Manuals coordinator working behind the scenes to ensure that the document can be translated to French. I’m also working with Yama Ploskonka, admin of the OLPC-Sur list of Spanish-speaking OLPC supporters to find Spanish language translators.
All in all, this is a very exciting effort and I’d love to get readers of JustWriteClick involved in any way you’d like. I’m very excited to be part of this effort and pleased to play host – let’s gather some more community around the BookSprint to make it a success.