[IAEP] Help 17 and Help Doers Kit

Iain Brown Douglas iain at browndouglas.plus.com
Mon Nov 4 02:06:13 EST 2013

Help 17 is at a point close to release, but in some essential ways, is, as
yet, unfinished. 

It is largely updated in content, but there is still some very important
changes that have not been crossed off the list on this

Help 17 is already a nearly complete set of Sugar 1.00 documentation.

I came to the project very recently, Gonzalo Odiard has spent more time
supporting me to learn the process, than I have so far contributed.

This will be an inadequate description, which is why I write. Gonzalo
has modified the source of Activity Help, so that the version of Help in
the link below includes a self-installing, fully user editable form of
Help. Please test if you can. I tested it in sugar-build and SoaS. It works nicely.

*To Get this Activity*

Right now if you do:

git clone gitorious at git.sugarlabs.org:help/mainline.git

you will get the help activity _with_ the sources included.

You can install it in your development environment doing:

cd mainline

./setup.py dev

If you have the Activity Help already installed, uninstall it first.

Now you can modify any .rst file in /mainline/source directory or the
images in the /mainline/images directory,

and to create the html files, you only need do:

make html

* In Sugar
You don’t need to restart the activity to see the changes, can do click
with the secondary button, and select reload.

* In any other Linux environment
The output of make html is in /mainline/html, and is opened by opening
index.html in a browser, it is easy to see the changes as you work.

* Features
Help already allows internationalisation of the content.

*Next steps*

I think this is a really good way of producing documentation in the field.

But it has taken me three weeks to get to the point where I can contribute!
On my hard drive, I have a variant of the above, that I would like to
sell to you as "Help Doers Kit". 

*Help Doers Kit*

I replaced the "regular" index, with one containing "Help Doers Kit",
which is about 4 pages I have written, containing:

all I know about How To write and contribute to Activity Help
an improving version of the content of this e-mail
a sandbox.
I have already used it to start to create some New-to-Sugar, pages which
I hope to submit in due course.

The Help Doers Kit allows someone with no coding experience,
        * to practice on the software,
        * to start to write documentation from scratch,
        * to write self-help pages, which remain in the users copy of Help,
        * to edit existing Help pages, and have them patched into the next Help Activity,
        * to develop the Help Doers Kit itself,
        * to have a common low-tech platform for collaboration,
	* to develop the Help Activity's look, feel, and features,
        * to, potentially, write attractive documentation available to
        distribute as .html web pages, or How_to_change_the_world.xo

Would there be any market for Help Doers Kit, and what should I do next?

Iain Brown Douglas
aka inkyfingers

More information about the IAEP mailing list