Meeting minutes

Cameron Shorter

Minutes from video conference today (from memory - so likely missing some things):

Present: Me (Cameron), Erin, Clarence, Jared, Sanket (listening).

Apologies: Felicity's internet was down

Location: Pan camera A into various home offices, with kid noises and domestic rumblings in the background.

* Erin gave a pitch that we should apply to get a tech writer for TheGoodDocsProject to increase our development velocity. Erin notes that her being on the selection committee would exclude her from voting, but other Googlers could act as mentors. (We'd need to propose 2 mentors.)

* I, Cameron have volunteered to be one mentor, and am prepared to take a lead role in this (as per last year). Clarence and Jared are concerned by time commitment required. Jared is wondering about a time-boxed commitment. Felicity's name was floated as a candidate.

* Erin noted a preference for 3 month SoD timeframes instead of 6 month. Apparently some of the writers for 6 month periods were getting pushed a bit hard, and there were some nebulous, poorly defined goals.

* I'm keen to know what was learned from all 50 SoD projects and their reports. What were the common themes reported? What worked well? What were the problem areas? Erin wrote this down as an action to follow up on. This could lead into guidance and selection criteria for the next SoD projects. This could possibly follow a similar structure to the article I put together for OSGeo/TheGoodDocsProject [1].

* One of the key lessons I got out of SoDs last year was the importance of setting up a Doc Audit. It's hard to know what you should aim for if you don't know what you have, or what is considered good. Erin suggested that we could recommend a Project Doc Audit as one of the tasks a project takes on.

* Jared talked up a doc checklist which Jared was really impressed with from Daniel D. Beck [2]. Costs $29. But we're wondering whether we could find a sponsor to pay Daniel to give the content away under an open license, and then incorporate it into our GoodDocsProject best practices.

* Clarence floated the need for deciding what templates we should focus on.

* Erin suggested a need for a bibliography template.

* Re who we'd be looking for from a tech writer. I'm hoping for someone who can pull together best practices from lots of sources. This will typically be someone with a breadth of tech writing experience, and good research skills. Erin noted ex-librarians could be a good fit. Also noted that with many people being out of work, we hopefully should be able to help some awesome tech writer through a tough spell.

* Re how projects are selected for SoD, I wonder whether we should split into:

** Doc infrastructure projects (like TheGoodDocsProject)

** Projects which use/test prototypes of doc infrastructure projects and provide feedback. I've tripped over a reference to an open source grammarly equivalent which might be useful, referenced from [3].

** General tech writing, from which we can get some vanilla value, and hopefully also see common themes and needs start to emerge.

* Erin says she's setting up a calendar link for SoD timeframes. (Thanks)




Cameron Shorter
Technology Demystifier
Open Technologies and Geospatial Consultant

M +61 (0) 419 142 254