April 16, 2009 by Thomas Zander | Comments
Userbase is the wiki for application user information. It fills in a vital gap of information between traditional documentation and the usually too technical developer chatter. For at least KOffice it's still in need of help, though. We want more tutorials for starters.
People like Anne Wilson have put a tremendous amount of work into userbase and I'm especially happy with the work on KWord she did. Userbase is for and by users, though. So we need help.
Tutorials are in my experience the best way to get a new user starting with the application, get them over the initial threshhold if you may. Its also the easiest way to teach that new useful feature you like to others that may want to use it too. Spread the joy kind of way.
With the Release Candidate of KOffice2.0 out I want to call users everywhere to install the packages from their distro and play around with it. When they find something that they think is a "gotcha", write about it. Put up some screenshots and write a tutorial on userbase. You can then put them up on userbase.kde.org/KWord under the "Hints, Tips and Tutorials" part.
While its installing, or while your distro is working to get those RC packages to you we still need volunteers that can move and clean up tutorials that have been posted to blogs previously, before userbase became to be. Lets move all the content to one place and make it more useful for all. I put up a list of blogs I found here; Krita Talk
For people that are already quite accomplished in using software it sometimes is hard to come up with ideas on what would be a good tutorial subject. Since if you figure it out, it's easy to forget how it took you some time to figure out how to do it. We need tutorials for very basic tasks, the kind that users have met and used in other packages, but also tutorials for introducing new ideas and now tools. I always enjoy reading the blog of Solveig Haugland who does write a lot of tutorials for OOo. As she is an experienced writer it would probably be good inspiration, both for content and level.
For an application suite like KOffice having good user support is pretty important. Having great user docs, tutorials etc all together on one place is in my opinion the way to go. For us its clear that userbase.kde.org is the place so all we need now is the more active of users to help us make it happen. For discussions on the topic you might want to go to the forums where developers and users hang out.
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