Two years ago, we decided to write a handbook that would help new users start with Fedora. The original handbook was written in Czech by Lukáš Kotek, but in the end it was a work of a community of people (proofreaders, typesetters, designers,…). The handbook was released in Czech only as a pilot project. If it’s successful let’s translate it to English and then to other languages and make it a global project. That was our plan.
The reason why we wrote the handbook is that we have very few giveaways at our booths that convey any information about Fedora. Yes, we have stickers, badges, case badges,… But those only convey the brand, thus are great for those who already know Fedora and want to show affiliation on the project, e.g. by placing a Fedora sticker on their laptop. We don’t really have something we can give to someone who is not familiar Fedora at all. DVDs served partly well for that case, but they’re going away as well.
That’s why we came up with a handbook with limited scope: it should get a person who is not familiar with Fedora from our booth to an installed system. It should tell why to choose Fedora, where to get it, how to install it, and how to start using it.
We had really positive feedback about the handbook in the Czech community, but sadly we haven’t found much time to internationalize the project. Until now. I picked it up again and start pushing it forward. The project has been moved to Pagure and I’m looking for people who can help me with that.
The handbook is fully translated to English which is now the origin for all other translations. The English translations have been proofread, the only chapter that is missing proofreading is the 4th. It’s fully translated to Czech, because it was the previous origin, and partly to Venezuelan Spanish.
The source is written in asciidoc and we have a script that can export the handbook to Docbook, PDF and HTML.
The current plan is to produce a printed version of the handbook in English before Flock 2017. Once we finalize the content, it will be safe to translate it to other languages.
To achieve the goal, we need to finish the following tasks:
- The chapter 4 still needs proofreading by a native speaker.
- English screenshots need to be taken and added.
- We need to go through the content and see if there is anything missing or badly explained.
- We need to refresh the cover and make it easily translatable. (The design team is already working on it.)
- Generate a final print PDF. (We used LaTex for the Czech version and we’re planning to use it for the English version as well.)
- Print. (I can take care of this for EMEA, have a vendor who produces good quality for a very good price.)
We’d like to make one release per year. Once the English origin is finished, we’ll make a release branch where everyone can submit translations. To add translations, simply create a directory which is named after the code of your language, copy the content from the origin and translate it. You can also start translating the master, but bear in mind that until it’s released it may change and you may have to “retranslate” it.
Each language will also have to do typesetting in LaTex and generate a final print PDF. This is something that is pretty much impossible to automate and moreover every language has different typesetting rules.
We understand that producing a printed handbook is a lengthy process and smaller national communities may not be able to do it every year. The handbook doesn’t contain any release-specific information and it should stay up to date for a longer period of time, so skipping release and making new handbooks e.g. every two years should be fine.
Call to Action
We’re currently looking for people who can help us especially with tasks 1-3. You can simply fork the project and start working and then propose a pull request. If you find a bug or have an idea, please create a ticket in Pagure.