Reorganising techbase around "Contributor Paths".

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Thu Oct 2 04:51:07 BST 2008

On Wednesday 01 October 2008, Stephen Kelly wrote:
> As far as I know, the focus of techbase is for documentation, information,
> policies, schedules etc around producing KDE products, and bringing new
> contributors into that.

not just contributors, but yes.

> Aspects include coding, translation, documentation,
> art, bugfixing etc.

the focus to date has been on technical aspets: coding and system 

> However, currently techbase is mostly structured around development.

yes, and that's been, at least to this point, purposeful.

> On the homepage we have
> * Setting up a KDE development environment (/Getting_Started)
> * Developing with KDE (/Development)
> * KDE System Administration (/KDE_System_Adminitration) (Should be on
> userbase I think)

userbase is about end user information and community.

the sys admin stuff on techb ase is really about more "pro-level" topics.

keeping clarity in mission on each site is important to keeping them useful 
for the intended audiences. by making user base too technical, we'll lose 
certain people from it; by putting sys admin stuff in amongst end user 
tutorials, we potentially make them harder to find and certainly send the wrong 
message about what sys admin tasks are with kde.

> * Join the KDE Team and Contribute (/Contribute) (This is all about dev,
> but with a link to
> * ISV Information (/ISV) (Some of this is way out of date. Should it be on
> a wiki at all, or is better for this stuff)

it needs to be done up properly, i think. is not really a great 
place for that .... what is for is a whole other topic that we 
probably don't want to get into here? ;)

> * KDE projects (/Projects)

i'm on the fence as to whether this is the right site for these, or if we 
should have a wiki infrastructure that lets us set up individual wikis quickly 
and easily. right now it's the pragmatic choice.

> Techbase might have started out being all about development, and we now
> have a lot of good development tutorials.

lots, but not enough =)

> We also have a lot of other great
> tutorials on internationalization and documentation etc, but the
> organization of techbase doesn't make them easy to find.

the i18n tutorials are primarily for developers, however. the ones that aren't 
aimed at developers, i agree.

> I'd like to see techbase reorganized (or at least its homepage and
> navigation structure) around contributor paths.

that's not really the aim of techbase today, of course. it's a bit more 
focussed than that.

> Something like:
> Contributor Paths (/Paths)
> Learn to create KDE software (/Paths/Developer)
> Learn to create KDE artwork (/Paths/Artist)
> Learn to create KDE user documentation (/Paths/Documentor)
> Learn to translate KDE (/Paths/Translator)
> Learn to squash bugs and test KDE (/Paths/Bugsquad)
> Promoting KDE the right way (/Paths/Promotion)
> Learn to make KDE more Usable (/Paths/Usability)
> Learn to create KDE websites (/Paths/WWW)

i love this concept, though really it's what is. 
so the question is: where does it belong?

moving it to techbase makes sense for two particular reasons, imo: it's a wiki 
so it's easier for people to build up around and we have the Contribute/ area.

so if we took and migrated it to Contribute/, and 
then forward to Contribute that could make sense.

promo ... i'm not sure it's best served by techbase, but it could certainly be 
at least covered in the Paths concept.

> The /Schedules, /Projects, /Policies structure probably doesn't need to
> change imo. /Developer/Tutorials could be moved to /Tutorials and kept as
> an index of all tutorials.

so that developers run into art, and artists run into developer tutorials? 
shouldn't we be separating the tutorials into target audiences?

> Each page would have resources specific to it along with tutorials with
> possibly multiple entry points. Emphasis is on low barrier to entry, so the
> first stop for a developer is not /build/kde4. Now that kde4.1 is on many
> distros, it is not necessary for new devs to build kde4 from scratch with
> all the hassle of dependancies, learning to use svn etc.

yes, times have changed and that area needs to be updated to reflect it. very 
good point.

> Also, at the
> beginning, software is created without a need for a compiler. It's possible
> to make a start with something simple. For example:
> = Paths/Developer =
> This page is a guide to new KDE contributors who want to create software.
> The order of items is the recommended path for KDE users who want to learn
> to create KDE software. The top sections are easiest and simplest to set
> up, and
> == Dive in ==

this is an interesting approach and one that would be useful. we should still 
keep the topical arrangement that we now as well, however, as it is a 
reference platform for developers, not just a way to get new devs in. of 
course, this "Dive In" structure could simple be a page of links into that 
same body of tutorials.

at some point we also need to make the topical categorization page a bit more 
approachable without diminishing its reference value...

> == Resources ==

> Anyone want to expand on this or comment? To make such a reorganization of
> techbase worthwhile would require buy-in from many different groups

then you should be talking with kde-artists at, kde-promo at and 
recruiting active hands there.
> Additionally, if there are people willing to join it, it might be a good
> idea to have a kde-new-contributors@ ml for people who need a kick in the
> right direction or more interactive help, mentoring etc.

hm.. and then they have to transition at some point? and who would be there to 
guide them? i think kde-devel at is a good starting point, we just need 
to let people KNOW that it is ...

Aaron J. Seigo
humru othro a kohnu se
GPG Fingerprint: 8B8B 2209 0C6F 7C47 B1EA  EE75 D6B7 2EB1 A7F1 DB43

KDE core developer sponsored by Trolltech

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