My experiment contributing to the OSNews site lasted just shy of three weeks (see that page for details why) but I was still determined to find some way to contribute to the Open Source community. Strangely, that experiment led me to a new adventure.
Searching for interesting for articles for OSNews led me to dozens of new-to-me news sites, blogs, aggregators, and more. And as I dug down to primary sources I found a post at www.opensuse.org reporting on the proceedings from a recent conference. And a presentation there on email clients discussed a new GUI app by the name of Trojitá. I checked it out, saw it had no documents, and contacted the developer to offer to write some. He accepted!
Suddenly I'm a tech writer, producing documents for a new program and getting familiar with the tools, the processes, and the procedures for writing, editing, and improving documentation for open source software. As this is somewhat the Achilles' heel of the industry and an easy target for criticism, it feels good to make a difference. On the developer mailing lists I've already found lots of other ways to help out, and here we go down the rabbit hole.
Will it last? Maybe. Writing in docbook is kind of like gouging your own eyes out with a spoon. But I guess I can handle that. And the good news is, the changes trickle down to all the distributions plus FreeBSD, so everybody wins. And as for me, I've learned a few new things (like Git, and Docbook), so it's interesting and challenging for me, too. Let's make some progress!
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