State of HelpHub February 2018

What is HelpHub?

Project HelpHub is the user documentation base that will sit on WordPress.org/support. It's the companion to Developer's Hub which serves development documentation.

The general guiding philosophy for the design, content creation, and build of the project is – Help users help themselves.

We want users to be able to find answers on WordPress.org before posting on the forums. We want to make documentation more discoverable, through enabling search, visual improvements and concise targeted content.

We've been working on HelpHub for some time now and its possibly the final item that needs completion from the roadmap created by the Docs Team way back in 2013.

What’s the difference?

The biggest change is actually using WordPress to power content!

Shifting away from Codex was a deliberate decision

Scribbles the Docs Team did in 2013, suffice to say Codex wasn't enough

  • Too many pages that deal with the same issue (we have 4 getting started pages!)
  • Conflation of user and developer content
  • Content is hard to navigate
  • Content is way way way way way too verbose
  • Too much irrelevant content
  • Codex couldn't be realistically improved in it's functionality to deliver meaningful content

HelpHub aims to curate articles in a more concise way with standardised formatting and screenshots where possible.

Proper editing via WordPress back end & Gutenberg

The possibility to add functionality as need arises

Adding read time to help keep articles concise

Current State

We want to release a minimum viable product, and we have classified it as such below:

MVP – Plenty better than Codex

  • Better content
  • Internal search
  • Improved readability through design and content re-writes
  • Better article discovery through better categorisation
  • REST API endpoints

Phase 2 & beyond – Iteration

Phase 2 & beyond will have the team working on the enhancements on top of the basic features. We'll keep iterating to make things more use-able, easier for people to collaborate and of course create better content.

Examples are

  • WordPress Search -> ElasticSearch
  • Simple input search -> Auto complete and Suggestions via JS
  • And more

We'll also work on new features based on understanding how well the basic ones work and what the general end public needs next. Such could be article voting, direct article contribution via Feedback or user guides for example.

Team

Many people came in to help, unfortunately, life happens. We will need some consistent help going forward.

It is also plainly obvious that having an overall project lead isn’t enough to help tackle the pre-launch needs, let alone the post launch ones.

They have already been doing these tasks but it would be great to properly introduce them

Release Date

Our focus right now is to complete the development work for MVP and also work with the Meta and Support Team to properly setup HelpHub on WordPress.org

We aim to release HelpHub latest by 31st May 2018. We are working however to release it earlier than that.

Progress of Phase 1 (MVP)

  • Articles are appropriately categorised
  • Many popular articles were re-written
  • General WordPress.org styling are being merged in

We're now focusing on the tasks needed to ensure proper integration to be the Hub Page of WordPress.org/support

What do we need?

Developers. Consistent developers who are familiar with WordPress & PHP coding standards and good practices.

Content Migrators and Editors who are familiar with editing in WordPress.

If you would like to join us, you can do so in the following ways

  1. Comment here
  2. Join us at HelpHub meetings Tuesdays at 15:00 UTC in #docs
  3. Ping @clorith or @zzap for development, @atachibana for content on Make WordPress Slack

Take a look

We have the the staging version of the site up. (It still requires a fair bit of styling fix but the fundamental code to run it is in). It's not the prettiest right now but we're working on it. And we could certainly use your help!.

See it in action here – https://wp-helphub.com/

Project Documents & Links

  • Github Repository: https://github.com/kenshino/helphub
  • Contributing to Helphub: https://make.wordpress.org/docs/handbook/helphub/getting-started-with-helphub/
  • Staging Site: https://wp-helphub.com/

Docs Sprint – November 1st

The Seattle WP Meetup’s next monthly WordPress Docs Sprint is coming up on Saturday, November 1st.

We need all experience levels – this isn’t just for coders. We need writers, screenshot-takers, editors, readers, and of course, developers.  If you show up, we’ll find a way you can help.

Questions

What if you’re not in the Seattle/Tacoma area?

We’ll use Slack for team communication while we’re at the meetup, so if you’re joining from another state, country, or planet, you can participate as long as you’ve got a good internet connection.

If you don’t already have a Slack account, go to https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ and signup for an account. Once you log in, join us in the #docs channel.

How long are the Contributor Meetups?

From 10am – 2pm (18:00 – 22:00 UTC).

How do I join you?

  1. Show up in person or on Slack in #docs
  2. You can join the Seattle WordPress Meetup on Meetup.com (optional)
  3. RSVP for meetups that interest you and ask any questions you have
  4. We’ll help you get started contributing to Docs.

#sprint

Handbook Tasks – WordCamp Sofia Contributor Day 2013

Howdy WordCamp Sofia Contributors!

Thanks a bunch for helping with WordPress documentation – we all really appreciate your help!

We’ve been focusing a lot on the Theme Developer Handbook and Plugin Developer Handbook, which both need a good deal of work.

For most people, the toughest roadblock to contributing is just getting started, so hopefully this will help.

Where to Go

The jumping off point for all docs-related efforts is: make.wordpress.org/docs/ – In the sidebar, you’ll see links to the Handbooks along with the Spreadsheets we use to track their progress.

  1. The Theme Developer Handbook is at: http://bit.ly/WPThemeHB
    • . . . and the spreadsheet that we use to track Theme Developer Handbook progress is at: http://bit.ly/WPThemeHB_Content
  2. The Plugin Developer Handbook is at: http://bit.ly/WPPluginHB
    • . . . and the spreadsheet that we use to track Plugin Developer Handbook progress is at: http://bit.ly/WPPluginHB_Content
  3. The IRC channel we use is at #wordpress-sfd on Freenode.
    • This is a great place to ask questions, post links to docs for review, and cheer each-other on.

Getting Started

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to:

  1. Read the Handbook Style Guide
  2. Review the Handbook Tutorial Template
  3. Find a topic in the Theme or Plugin developer spreadsheet that interests you
  4. Check the Needs column of the spreadsheet to see if there are specific things that are needed in this document
  5. Add your name to the Responsible column in the spreadsheet
  6. Write or edit in HTML or Markdown and give it to Mario Peshev or email it over to me at eric [at] ivycat.com and we’ll post for you.

What if I’m not a Writer?

If you’re not comfortable writing or editing, you can also help by:

  • Creating code snippets for examples
  • Taking relevant screenshots
  • Reading existing documentation and making comments regarding improvements

If you’re completely overwhelmed and not sure where to start, you might start by reading through the Handbook and, when you’ve got questions, find missing content, or see improvements, please feel free to work on the document, or make comments in that document’s comment section.

I’m here to help in any way I can, so feel free to ping me (@sewmyheadon) or Mario (@no_fear_inc), or post to the #wordpress-sfd IRC channel if you have any questions.

Thanks again and have a great WordCamp!

#contributor-day, #docs, #wcsofia

Roll Your Own Docs Improvement Meetup

The Seattle WordPress Meetup is holding monthly WordPress Docs Improvement Meetups at a local coffee shop. So far, around 6 – 8 people attend each meetup, and the group has worked on docs in the Codex, Handbooks, and Function Reference.

The Docs Team would love to see other WordPress Meetups and local WordPress groups hold their own Documentation Meetups. Of course, Docs can use all the help it can get.

Things to keep in mind when organizing a Docs Meetup

  1. Your location needs good internet access and power outlets. Duh, right?  Great coffee also helps.
  2. Figure out what to work on in advance. The hardest thing about contributing to these meetups is simply figuring out what to work on. So, as an organizer, prepare in advance by finding a handful of specific things that the group can work on. Keep it small and manageable.  You can touch base with one of the Handbook editors, Docs Team Members, @hanni or @siobhan or @sewmyheadon to help make your list. There’s always plenty to do, but some things need quicker attention.
  3. Publicize it. Ask people to contribute and encourage participation of all user levels. You don’t have to be a developer or designer to contribute. There are plenty of things you can do to help including:
    • Screenshots – we need folks to take, and edit, screenshots to augment written documentation
    • Examples & Code Snippets – need formatted code snippets and examples
    • Editing / Proofreading / QA
    • Transcribing video to text
    • Developer support – non-devs need coders to help clarify functions, hooks & filters.
  4. Post pre-meetup instructions. Before your meetup date, make sure to post some pre-meetup instructions so new contributors can be prepared when they come.  Here’s an example of a Docs Improvement post from the Seattle WP Meetup site. At minimum, you’ll want to make sure people have reviewed the
  5. Prepare to be a helper. Organizers should expect to spend about 30 to 50% of their time at the Meetups just helping others get situated, reviewing other’s docs, answering questions, etc.
  6. Be okay with slow progress. Writing docs isn’t always a quick task, in fact, it’s usually the opposite. It’s a win if you can complete one or two documents in one 4 – 6 hour Meetup.
  7. Join the #wordpress-sfd IRC chat room. During Docs Meetups, we  encourage folks to login to IRC so they can ask questions, post progress, request docs reviews, and generally help out.
  8. Be encouraging. Face it, writing docs can be relatively thankless and sometimes tedious work, so make sure to be positive, thank people for their participation, and be encouraging.  The sooner someone feels like they’re contributing and their work is appreciated, the more likely they are to continue helping.
  9. Have fun.

Join Us

If you’d like to participate in any of the already-scheduled Docs Improvement Meetups in-person in Seattle or virtually via IRC, here’s when we’re meeting:

  • Saturday, September 21 (10am – 4pm PDT / 5pm – 11pm UTC)
  • Sunday, October 20 (10am – 4pm PDT / 5pm – 11pm UTC)
  • Saturday, November 16 (10am – 4pm PST / 6pm – 12pm UTC)
  • Saturday, December 14 (10am – 4pm PST /  6pm – 12pm UTC)

Hope to see you there!

#docs

@westi shared this article on writing docs with…

@westi shared this article on writing docs with me: http://stevelosh.com/blog/2013/09/teach-dont-tell/ It’s a great read and very relevant for what we’re doing on dev.wp.org. I recommend you all read it 🙂

#docs