The goals of the KDE Editorial Team
- Compose new documentation for KDE applications and update previous versions.
- Assist translation teams so that they may effectively and accurately translate the documentation.
- Ensure that all English documentation is correct and complete with regards to DocBook markup.
- Recruit new people to write documentation.
The Editorial Process
Find specific information on the Getting Started page.
- The original English documentation is usually written directly by the members of the English team in collaboration with the application's author.
- Documentation must be written in English, because most of our translation teams do not have available people to translate from any other language. If the author of an application wishes to write documentation for his program in his mother tongue (german, French, ...), the documentation team for that language is here to help. It will first be translated into English, and then the English version will be reviewed by English speakers of the English team.
- Documentation is written using a markup-language called DocBook. Tools exist to produce HTML, PostScript, etc... from a DocBook source while preserving their structure (index, titles, etc). This might be done by the author while writing, or by another team member after the content is written.
The Translation Process
- The Documentation team is not responsible for the translations, although we necessarily have close contact with the translators. If you want to translate documentation, please contact the responsible team coordinator. You can find this person from l10n.kde.org.
- The DocBook XML files are turned into gettext message files in SVN, which the translation teams then translate using their usual toolset. For KDE this is usually Lokalize. You can find more information about the actual translation process in the Translation Howto document.
- When a message file is completely translated, a new DocBook file is created in the target language. When all the files that make up a document are translated, then an entire User Manual is available in that language.
- Most of this process is handled transparently to us, with scripts that do the message and final DocBook generation. All we have to do for our part is write the document. That said, there are some things we can do to make translation easier, which are discussed in the style guide.
Joining the Team
If you'd like to help with writing, updating or proofreading documentation, we're happy to welcome you to the team. Just send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us on IRC in #kde-docs on irc.freenode.net, and we'll help you to get started. You can also find information about all aspects of writing documentation in the Documentation Primer You don't have to read all of it before starting, but the first few chapters contain a short introduction that should help you to find your feet.
It's very important to note that you don't need to learn the tools and languages that we use in order to help. We can deal with these, if you can write or update content, or proofread the documentation. A lot of new contributors find that trying to learn the tools, especially DocBook, before writing content, just takes too long, and they get don't get around to writing, which is the interesting part. So, feel free to send your contributions in plain text when you're starting out, and think about learning DocBook when you're more comfortable with writing.
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