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Help out with the Saucy Ubuntu Docs!

Throughout this cycle I have been working with the Ubuntu Doc team in my capacity as a Community Council member to assist in building up the number of team administrators and work to improve the Getting Started documentation to get new contributors involved with the documentation that ships with Ubuntu. I’m happy to say that the actual amount of work I did was personally pretty minimal; administrators Doug Smythies, Kevin Godby, Benjamin Kerensa really worked hard this cycle to get things into shape, and there is a significant amount of activity on the mailing list today from other contributors.

Ubuntu Desktop Guide

Now that some of the major hurdles have been tackled, the team is slowly reaching out beyond the immediate community to get more contributors — that’s where you come in!

We need reviewers for the new Ubuntu Desktop Guide how-to: DocumentationTeam/SystemDocumentation/UbuntuDesktopGuide

Does this guide make sense? Does it give you the introductory tools and information you need to start working on documentation? What is missing? Let us know on the Ubuntu Doc mailing list (if possible, sign up for the mailing list so your mail doesn’t get moderated, we want to make it easier on our new list admins!).

Not ready to dive into full documentation writing with Mallard? We also need folks to simply review the documentation. You have a couple options for reviewing the current documentation:

1. Review the 13.04 documentation on the web


This is the easiest way to quickly get involved.

Note: We have already updated some of this in the latest development version for 13.10, but there still may be errors to find so reviewing this is useful to us.

2. Build the current development documentation as html

This method is more complex and takes a little time, but you will be reviewing the actual development version of the documentation.

  • Install the following packages: bzr xsltproc libxml2-utils yelp-tools yelp-xsl
  • At the command line, type: bzr branch lp:ubuntu/ubuntu-docs (this took 10 minutes for me, be prepared to wait!)
  • Change to the new ubuntu-docs html directory: cd ubuntu-docs/html/
  • To build the HTML documentation, just type: make
  • View the resulting HTML documentation in the html/build/en/ directory. You can open file:///path/to/ubuntu-docs/html/build/en/index.html in your browser (where “/path/to/” is where you put the docs, like /home/elizabeth/)

Tip: When reviewing documentation built on your system keep an eye on the address bar to make sure the pages you are reviewing are still your local file:/// ones, there are some links in the documentation that take you to other sites

Reviewing instructions

To prevent everyone from reviewing the same few pages over and over again, we’ve created a spreadsheet to track which pages still need to be reviewed. Visit the spreadsheet and find a page that hasn’t been reviewed yet and add your name to the Reviewer column. It looks quite empty now, but don’t be shy :) If all the pages have been reviewed once, feel free to pick a page and review it a second time!

Keep in mind that the Ubuntu Documentation adheres to the style guide here: DocumentationTeam/StyleGuide. Of particular interest may be the Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling section. Also note that the Ubuntu documentation uses US English spelling and grammar rules.

If you find a bug, please report it here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-docs/+filebug

If you have any questions or run into any problems, please feel free to email the Ubuntu Doc mailing list at ubuntu-doc@lists.ubuntu.com or chat with us in the #ubuntu-doc IRC channel on irc.freenode.net.

Thanks to Kevin Godby for working with me on this post!