Google Season of Doc 2019

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The Document Foundation has been selected as mentor organization for GSoDOC 2019

Read more on this blog post

What is the Google Season of Doc?

From the introductory page of the project:

The goals of Season of Docs are to give technical writers an opportunity to gain experience in contributing to open source projects, and to give open source projects an opportunity to engage the technical writing community.

During the program, technical writers spend a few months working closely with an open source community. They bring their technical writing expertise to the project's documentation, and at the same time learn about open source and new technologies.

The open source projects work with the technical writers to improve the project's documentation and processes. Together they may choose to build a new documentation set, or redesign the existing docs, or improve and document the open source community's contribution procedures and onboarding experience.

Together, we raise public awareness of open source docs, of technical writing, and of how we can work together to the benefit of the global open source community.

SeasonofDocs Logo MainGrey 300ppi.png

Ideas for Documentation technical writing

Guides and Books

When updating guides and books, Authors and technical writers must

  • Download and install the latest LibreOffice stable release (we eat our own dog food).
  • Situate the context by reading the current guide or book.
  • Be familiarized in the Guide subject and in the LibreOffice software in general. Good knowledge in office suites and other related desktop applications is a excellent start.
  • Be familiarized with LibreOffice resources:
    • Track changes edition,
    • Usage of the several styles families in a text document (paragraph styles, page styles, characters styles, etc...),
  • Follow the changes introduced in the software since the latest edition of the Guide and update to the newest edition:
    • test the features or changes found in the release notes,
    • locate the pertinent chapter and write about the feature,
    • Always keep in mind that the end-user is your reader, and the contents must be directed to help or assist end-users. This also means that features too technical (such as changes in some internal algorithms or coding techniques) can be omitted when they don't affect the way users interact with the application.
  • When adding or changing contents, enable track changes in your document, to ease reviewer job.
  • Update the screenshots (of dialog boxes) and other drawings, to the newest release.

The documentation mailing list is the right channel for discussing all issues related to the LibreOffice documentation. It is the place where you can find expertise and advise from other volunteers. Subscribe to join the documentation team.

Read more on the documentation development.

The Video Presentation of LibreOffice Modules

LibreOffice online Help system can display video hosted in video server such as You Tube or similar. The objective of the project is to create 3 to 5 minutes presentation (teasing) video of each module, showing the main features for the module. An example of the video quality is shown below:

Each video will be inserted in our online Help page replacing the generic "new features" video in each module of the online Help, for example

The videos can also be reused in the "feature pages" of the main website:

Rules for the Videos

  • Subject: An introductory presentation of the module (Writer, Calc, Draw, Impress, Base, Math, and Basic/Python)
  • Create the storyboard of each video, review with mentor.
  • contents in English and text with have caption for other languages
  • 3 to 5 minutes video
  • HD and readable screenshots,
  • Upload to video service in TDF channel
  • use best practices for online videos


LibreOffice Online Guide

LibreOffice online (LOOL) is an instance of LibreOffice running on a (remote) server (cloud server) and accessed with a modern browser. Users open, edit, print and save or export documents located in the server through a browser. The rendered document in the browser is exactly the same as the desktop application.

Because of the online environment, LOOL behave slightly differently than the desktop version. In particular:

  • Only Writer, Calc and Impress are available in LOOL (leaving Math, Base and Draw out of LOOL)
  • A server framework exist to support LOOL and provide session, security and file management. The most often used framework is the Owncloud and Nextcloud. The frameworks interferes in the way users interact with the cloud server.
  • While the rendering engine is LibreOffice and thus support perfect document display of any LibreOffice supported document format, not every feature of LibreOffice desktop is accessible to LOOL. The user interface is limited to the most often used commands (this can change drastically with more developments).

Technical writers are invited to create a LibreOffice Online User Guide, describing the features of the application, its way to address online editing, the framework-specific features and flag the differences with the desktop version when editing documents.

Application features contents of online Writer, Calc and Impress can be linked to or sourced from the desktop version contents. For example, paragraph formatting dialog in text documents is exactly the same as the desktop application.

We envision the guide as source for a future online Help for LibreOffice Online (Help web pages accessed from the online application). However, this step demands developers time and is out of he current scope.

The Document Foundation has a NextCloud server with a recent LibreOffice Online instance that can be used for testing. Access to this server is on demand and under justification.

Mentor: Olivier Hallot

List of Help pages to be updated or created

Getting Started related pages

  1. tdf#121736: initial Help pages for Python scripts => Include Python inside Macro chapter (Co-mentor: Alain Romedenne)

Calc related pages

  1. tdf#124204: [LOCALHELP] Adjust Help page for LARGE and SMALL Calc functions
  2. tdf#124205: [LOCALHELP] Help page for FOURIER function
  3. tdf#124299: Document the Redaction Process and Commands
  4. tdf#124502: CALC-HELP: Missing CONCAT in Calc-Help
  5. tdf#120220: Help: No info about Data Provider
  6. tdf#120179: rewrite SUMIF Help page

Writer related pages

Impress related pages

Draw related pages

Base related pages

Math related pages

Basic related pages

  1. tdf#114263: [LOCALHELP] More BASIC functions to document in Help pages => assisting .xhp edition & review accuracy of Basic documented features (Co-mentor: Alain Romedenne)
  2. tdf#94620: [LOCALHELP][DOCUMENTATION] Access2Base documentation => Move and reformat (from wiki text) existing documentation to fit with LibreOffice help standards (Co-mentor: Jean-Pierre Ledure)