Tag Archives: manual

Firefox Manual’s (not so) distant Italian relative

A few days ago, the SUMO community got together to polish the Firefox 3 Manual created by the amazing FLOSS Manuals community and make it ready for publishing. It was a very successful effort and we now have a manual for Firefox 3 that we can be very proud of!


What many people (outside of Italy, at least) might not know is that our new Firefox 3 Manual isn’t the first manual for Firefox produced. In fact, back in 2006, Underpass, tittoproject, and miki64 from the Mozilla Italia community wrote a Firefox manual entirely written in Italian, based on their strong experiences supporting users in their local forum. Nothing similar existed at the time, and the purpose of this manual was to provide solutions to some of the most common issues for Firefox users so fewer people had to visit the forum — just like SUMO works today!

The Italian Firefox manual is called FireFAQ and is available for download in pdf format. It was downloaded by over 30,000 people in the first 10 days and received very good reviews! Later, Mozilla Italia also wrote ThunderFAQ. The content of both manuals are released under the CC license, just like the Knowledge Base articles on SUMO.

Simone Lando (yes, that’s Underpass, one of the authors of the Italian Firefox manual!) wrote to tell me that when they had the opportunity to translate the SUMO KB contents, they decided not to update their manual anymore and instead focus entirely on SUMO. However, the experiences they gained by writing the FireFAQ manual proved to be very important for their excellent team work on SUMO today, which I think is fantastic to hear.

I am very excited that Mozilla Italia will attend to the EU Inter-Community Meetup in Geneva this weekend, where they will share more about their experiences with Firefox support and SUMO. Definitely expect a blog post about the inter-community meetup soon. :)

Let’s publish a Firefox Manual!

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.


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!