Our application was not accepted for this edition of the Season of Docs. I received the email from Google on Friday, April 16th notifying me of this.
However, the projects we submitted will be highly beneficial to the documentation team, and to WordPress in general. So I’m very interested in leading/working on some of them, and also in supporting contributors who would like to do the same.
In the next few days, I’ll get in touch with the people who were interested in participating in this Season of Docs, and, if they are still interested, see how we can move forward.
Below is a list of projects presented by WordPress for Google Season of Docs 2021. Prospective technical writers can also suggest new project ideas in the comments section.
- Organization administrator: Justin Ahinon @justinahinon
- Backup organization administrator: Atharva Dhekne @tacitonic
Project name: Create a system to track updates and suggestions to the WordPress documentation
The problem: The WordPress documentation is huge and divided into multiple sections. There is user documentation and developer documentation of different projects (themes, plugins, block editor, APIs, etc.).
All this documentation is subject to frequent changes as the projects to which they belong evolve. So we end up with requests for changes, requests for updates that are frequently reported on various channels: Slack, Meta Trac, GitHub, etc.
The fact that we don’t have a unified system for change requests and documentation updates makes collaboration difficult; and can be an obstacle for new contributors who want to start with documentation contribution.
So, WordPress really needs to have a unified tracking system so that we can track these requests and the work to fulfill such requests. And we need to create a process to utilize this system properly.
Measuring the project’s success
The main indicator of success is the effective implementation of a system and process to report documentation that is obsolete, needs to be updated or corrected.
The second indicator of success is the use by contributors of the system and process implemented.
The technical writer who will work on this project should have an idea of WordPress documentation, how they work, and how the documentation team maintains them.
The technical writer will have a mentor with experience on the documentation team, who can provide assistance and guidance as needed.
Project name: Documentation for a better on-boarding experience: Supporting new contributors to WordPress
The problem: Reported by W3Techs WordPress currently powers over 40% of the web. The WordPress Org comprises of contributors and the number is growing by the day. With 18 Make WordPress Teams it can be a daunting experience for new contributors in finding their place. Many teams have their on-boarding documentations as part of the Handbook. Some are automated, for example the core team while others lack enough clarity for new contributors to understand.
Thus, WordPress should include both technical and other know-how documentation for contributors. Season of Docs is the perfect excuse to improve each of the 18 teams’ handbooks emphasizing on the contributor on-boarding experience.
This project aims to improve the documentation of the on-boarding experience for contributors. With rich, interactive content including multilingual videos, the goal is to support the existing documentation from individual team’s handbooks and to standardize them in a way that can be truly beneficial for the contributors.
Measuring the project’s success
Adding relevant section to the handbooks and those pages would be the main success criteria for the project. Being able to include localized content can also help improve the overall user experience and reach a wider audience.
An additional success criteria for the project can also be on the use of the content and in the implementation of the content when put to the test.
The technical writer should have an understanding on the following:
- How Make WordPress Teams function
- Weekly Meetings and Triage Sessions
- Workflow of the Make WordPress Teams
- How to propose changes for the Handbook
- How WordPress is being improved (release process)
- Where to ask for help and how to avail them
- Identifying the contact person for each Make WordPress Teams
The technical writer can have a mentor with experience on the documentation team, who can provide assistance and guidance if needed.
Project name: Write Gutenberg block editor end-user documentation
There are gaps in the existing documentation for the Gutenberg block editor with missing pages and existing pages that need to be updated – as 80% of them haven’t seen an update since WordPress 5.0 came out. With constant UI changes on for every version, Gutenberg block editor documentation is evolving rapidly with new version releases.
A content creator’s (blogger, writer) understanding for the block editor; no development skills are required.
Project name: Improve existing user and developer documentation and handbooks
We have a lot of developer documentation. WP Core’s documentation is mostly automated. However handbooks that describe how one would create a theme, make a plugin, use the REST API, or automate things via the CLI do not receive updated documentation. In turn, this requires that all handbook maintainers know all the changes in each core release to be able to write something useful.
In some cases, the handbooks are updated but don’t provide enough examples for new developers to get started. We would like to close these gaps.
Another improvement would be to adopt the newly published WordPress Documentation Style Guide for existing documentation.
Project five: @mkaz
Project Name: Extending block editor developer documentation
Documentation on developing on top of block editor is, depending on the topic, either scarce, outdated, or non-existent. Considering that the block editor is a significant language leap for WordPress developers, the project itself would benefit from having detailed documentation in a form of guides or tutorials, on how to utilize and extend core functionality and what the best practices are.
- Previous participation in Season of Docs, Google Summer of Code or others:
WordPress participated in Google Season of Docs 2020. WordPress was also a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2014.