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From Diana Shannon <>
Subject Re: Document Gestation Process?
Date Tue, 30 Apr 2002 13:25:04 GMT
On Tuesday, April 30, 2002, Carsten Ziegeler wrote:

>> I want to make it very clear: this effort does NOT seek to diminish the
>> success of anyone's outside effort to write books about Cocoon. It
>> simply wants to use tap into existing community resources -- not
>> developers -- in order to add additional "concerns" to the document
>> development process at crucial and helpful points. This includes
>> authors, editors, and QA testers who will add valuable input to content
>> and structure at critical development points.
> My answer has absolutely nothing to do with books about Cocoon - it
> has to do with a working model for a fast moving open source project
> like Cocoon is.

Ok. I agree. I guess I was (naively?) hoping to build in more QA 
(quality assurance), incentives, and ownership into that working 
model -- whatever it turns out to be. I was seeking inspiration from 
technical documentation practices that deal with similar challenges in 
other rapidly changing fields. Open source projects are not alone with 
this problem.

> (The five persons writing books about Cocoon have
> contributed a lot to the Cocoon documentation, so this not a 
> contradiction.)

I know that. As a not-always-humble-enough-and-opinionated user, I 
remain extremely grateful for the superhuman contributions of you and 
other developer/authors. I also enjoyed reading your recent comments 
about Cocoon on your weblog. It really helps me to appreciate Cocoon 
when I learn what its development/progress means to people like you.

> But anyway, this is open source and I think it was Paul or Giacomo
> who said to me in my first days of Cocoon: "It's open source - and the
> great thing about open source is that you can do whatever you want :)".

Well, I'm just one user, with a narrow and limited view of the system. 
I'd prefer to base the approach on a consensus, and clearly one is 
emerging. I'm grateful for that as well as the healthy dose of realism 
I'm hearing. ;)

> So, I suggest, instead of theoretical arguing, just let's try your 
> approach.
> If it works, great, you proved me wrong, and I can learn from that! - If
> not,
> well we can adopt your approach here and there until it works.

You're right, enough talk. Walk the talk, as we say in the US.

> And please, I don't say that there is no way that your approach 
> works - I
> only
> doubt it.

Believe me, I have doubts about my own approach too. I'm not trying to 
"argue" with anyone, just increase my limited understanding. It's hard 
to start contributing to Cocoon in this capacity. There's no existing 
model to follow within Cocoon, so I wanted to get as much 
feedback/advice as possible before starting. When I first offered to 
help, in my email to Stefano, I offered simply to be an editor. I wanted 
to make small, but helpful, improvements to existing docs. Incremental 
improvements -- that seems to be the most efficient way to contribute to 
"open source," at least for new committers. He challenged me to do more, 
and I (foolishly?) accepted. I think, though, I may have fallen into an 
analysis paralysis trap. Thanks to you (and others) for helping to pull 
me out of it!


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