Let’s publish a Firefox Manual!

David Tenser

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Firefox manual that could be read as a physical book or directly on the screen? Well, guess what: it already exists and even better, it’s completely free!

The FLOSS Manuals Project is changing the way book publishing works by bringing open source concepts to the process. They are engaged in building a platform and community designed to get interesting books published and do it on faster cycles. These people are the reason why we have a Firefox 3.0 Firefox Manual today. Read more about how this manual was created on Chris Hofmann’s blog post FLOSS Manuals: Changing the Publishing World One Book at a Time.

How is this relevant to SUMO? Tomorrow, we are doing a short and focused one-day sprint to do the last but very important steps of cleaning the manual up and make it ready for publishing, and we need your help! Contributing to FLOSS Manuals is as simple as contributing to SUMO and doesn’t require any technical skills.

When?

Tomorrow! Thursday, May 28 at 10 AM Pacific time, 1 PM Eastern time, or 19:00 Central European time. If you’re in Europe or Asia and want to start earlier, you are of course more than welcome to! I’m based in Sweden and will be going through the manual throughout the day.

Where and how?

  1. Register to get an account at the FLOSS Manual site.
  2. Go to the Write section of the Firefox Manual.
  3. Pick a chapter that you want to read, click the “edit” link, and start improving it!

It’s really that simple.

On the right side of the website is a chat window where you will be able to chat with other participants (including me and the SUMO community members Matthew Middleton, Cheng Wang, and Chris Ilias).

What is the goal of tomorrow’s sprint?

We hope to achieve the following things:

  • Clean up the language and remove typos, etc.
  • Remove inconsistencies
  • Verify and make sure all information is correct
  • Flag chapters that will need updating for Firefox 3.5, which is quickly getting ready for a release

The last item is important, and we will probably do another one-day sprint shortly to actually update the information to Firefox 3.5 once it is released.

By just getting an account and spending 15 minutes proof-reading one chapter, you will make a huge difference to the quality of the manual, and your name will forever be included in the Credits section of both the online and paperback version.

Hope to see you tomorrow!