Posts Tagged ‘Wiki’

  • Translation woes revisited

    on Dec 14, 10 • by Helen Abbott • with 2 Comments

    Translation woes revisited

    In a previous post, I discussed the problems we encountered when considering translating our entire MediaWiki-based documentation suite. I talked about how to get content out of the wiki for translation, and then get translated content back to our users. In this post, I want to discuss translation and globalization requirements more generally, and how our small, agile doc team, working in MediaWiki, handles each requirement. Fulfilling these requirements results in lower translation costs and easier translation: Provide a medium for the translated documentation that accommodates text expansion Use preformatted styles Minimize the amount of

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  • Getting developers to RTFM

    on May 27, 10 • by Helen Abbott • with 1 Comment

    Documentation is the castor oil of programming. The managers know it must be good, because programmers hate it so much. Gerald M. Weinberg I used to be a strong believer in formal doc reviews. Distribute a draft, plan a meeting, and have everyone gather around the table. But in the last few years, my team has moved towards mostly meetingless reviews–because people hate review meetings (you know, like code reviews, only worse), because people haven’t always read the drafts when they get to the meeting, and because some of our dev team is overseas. First,

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  • Limping through agile

    on Jan 21, 10 • by Patti Murphy • with 2 Comments

    Limping through agile

    I’m a technical writer who’s a big picture kind of person and that means agile development is sheer torture for me. Going into my second agile project, I thought I would be able to go with the “flow” a bit more. I was wrong. But, it’s important to point out that our documentation team hit all of our deadlines for new features, while substantially rewriting our help set and moving it to a wiki. I’m pleased with the outcome, but the trip was not pleasant. This will be my first post in a series about

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  • RTFW

    on Dec 15, 09 • by Helen Abbott • with 1 Comment

    RTFW

    Our new documentation wiki is up and running! For awhile it seemed like we’d never do it. We have a team white board that records our panic level, and for several weeks, the level was up around “hysterical” and “wanting to open my own daycare”. We also have a white board in front of the doc area, in a hallway where everyone walks by to get to the kitchen.  At one point when we were particularly frustrated with MediaWiki, the topic was “names for the new doc wiki”. A few good suggestions: Duh-Wiki Kwiki Wooki

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  • “Okay. I’m in Costa Rica. Now what?”

    on Sep 3, 09 • by Patti Murphy • with 3 Comments

    “Okay. I’m in Costa Rica. Now what?”

    “Now what?” is that uncharted territory between “Getting Started” product guides and the challenge of incorporating a new tool into day-to-day activities. In fact, I’m convinced that “Now what?” is one of many creatures inferred by the “Here be monsters” legend inscribed on uncharted regions of old nautical maps. I think of it like this: You buy an exciting adventure package to Costa Rica. You put your money down. The tour operator hands you a map. And then you end up…in Holland. Time to call your emergency number: You: “Can you help me out?

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