What a week it was. I’m tired but very proud of what we accomplished.
We wrote seven manuals for One Laptop per Child in a week: one for Sugar, the operating system, one the XO, which is the hardware for all of the deployments for One Laptop per Child, and manuals for five Activities: Browse, Terminal, Write, Chat, and Record. I think our PDF page count is over 200 pages!
Results – the XO Manual is available (56 pages) and the Sugar Manual is available (132 pages). While the XO manual still has some missing images (screenshots and such), and I’d like to keep expanding the “Beyond Activities” chapter in the Sugar manual, we met the goals of the Sprint. Documentation never feels “done,” does it? Updated to add: the images are in the networking chapter of the XO manual, yuh!
Here’s how the week went. Sunday afternoon, we met at my employers for about 2-3 hours to plan out the outlines for all the books and make sure the scope was appropriate for the writers we had. I had an online discussion the prior week on the OLPC Library list, where content is discussed, to get buy-in from the community on the scope of the books and the audience for the books. By focusing the audience, we helped set scope, and by asking questions about scope and getting feedback, we could further narrow down the outlines for the manuals.
Sunday night we had a nice social event with the XO Austin user’s group at Mozart’s coffee house and finished up the night at Hula Hut for a nice dinner and drinks discussion. This type of informal socializing helped us get to know each other.
In a great conference room at Motive on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we wrote all day, as if it were a work day. Tuesday night we had a cookout at the hotel. We intended to have some more rest and relaxation Wednesday afternoon, but then decided to push it to the evening to keep the writing momentum going forward, but we all were tired enough to opt out of a 10 o’clock movie at the Alamo Draft House.
Thursday was spent as if we were in the last lap of the sprint, writing and finishing furiously, and Friday we spent doing cleanup in order to create all seven PDFs by the end of the day.
I’ll have a lot more to say about the BookSprint in the coming weeks and months, because I believe in this model for free documentation and I am so in awe of FLOSS Manual’s wiki toolset and remix capabilities. Updated to add: thanks to Adam Hyde, Aleksandar Erkalovic (aco), who was updating while we sprinted, and Lotte Meijer, who made the awesome covers for the manuals. Your group makes up an amazing team.
In the meantime, enjoy some of my favorite pictures from the event.
What’s next? As the maintainer of the doc set in FLOSS Manuals, I’m monitoring notifications on every manual we worked on. I want to continue accepting documentation requests through the Comment system on each chapter of the manuals in FLOSS Manuals. I hope that the participants will continue to feel ownership and make updates as they see fit. We’re hoping to translate both the content and the FLOSS Manuals interface to Spanish to assist in and create efficiencies for Spanish translation of the content.
There are so many thank yous and acknowledgments for the hard work this week – I hope I have adequately personally thanked all who participated in the planning leading up to the sprint as well as the many people who participated in the sprint itself. I’m bursting with pride in the community effort here and hoping to keep the momentum going in an even, sustainable pace. For the next few weeks I need to get my energy back from such a “sprint” effort, but I’m very proud of our results.