Community Docs: Guidelines and Hints for Contributors
In order to get you started quickly, we collected the resources and essential information about how the program works and how to add contributions. If you don't find the answer here, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Contribute to Community Docs?
There are a few good reasons to contribute documentation:
- "Easily give something back": NetBeans IDE is an open source application with an enthusiastic community of users around the world. You don't have to be a software developer skilled in hacking the IDE's source code or spend a long time writing to contribute something. Every contribution matters whether short tips and hints or a brief guide to creating a certain type of project or configuring a 3rd party tool in the IDE.
- "Community Recognition": As a community we show our appreciation to all those spending time and energy on sharing what they know. Who knows, your next employer may also care about your contributions to the NetBeans IDE and NetBeans RCP projects? :)
How to Contribute Docs Content
- Have a short tutorial, tech tip, demo, plugin guide or blogs entry to share? There are a couple ways you can share it:
- Create a wiki page on http://wiki.netbeans.org using the http://wiki.netbeans.org/BriefTutorialOutline template as a guide. When you think the content is ready, send the link and announce that it's ready for review to email@example.com After it has been reviewed we will add the link to the Community docs page - Community Docs Contributions
- Write about it on your personal blog or DZone. When it's ready, send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it to the community contributions list.
- Want to contribute but don't have an idea what to write about? Take a look at the community wishlist - http://wiki.netbeans.org/CommunityDocs_Wishlist There are plenty of topics yet to be written about that could benefit from your insights and experiences using the IDE.
Discussing Contributions on our email alias and forum
There is an email@example.com mailing alias that links to a forum (add URL) for discussing any issues related to NetBeans IDE Community contributed documentation such as asking questions about what to contribute, how to contribute and request reviews of contribution. from other contributors. We encourage you to sign up to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://netbeans.org/projects/www/lists/commdocs/archive to see what's being discussed.
- To Sign up to the mailing list go to http://netbeans.org/projects/www/lists and log on with your user name. If you don't have a user name just click Login and register for one.
- Scroll down to the email@example.com mailing list. Click subscribe and a subscription request will be sent.
- Tutorials: Teach someone how to use your plug-in, or simply show someone how to perform a task using the NetBeans IDE. You can write a whole tutorial, or just a short list of steps and best practices that you discovered. You can use the tutorial template as a guide for how to format your contribution.
- Screencasts: Demonstrate how tasks can be performed using the NetBeans IDE. You can make a demo from any existing tutorial, or create a new one. A guide to how to do this using free software is at http://www.NetBeans.org/kb/articles/CreateWinkDemo.html.
- FAQs: Do you have an answer to a question that should be on the FAQ? Then share it by adding it to the User FAQ wiki page or write a short HowTo and send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tips and Tricks: Share ideas and give advice to other users with small, useful pieces of information to help with getting the most out of the IDE in everyday work situations.
- Blogging: You can use your weblog or other website where you've been published for creating contributions too. Just send the link to email@example.com.
- 'Case Stories': Did you migrate an entire development team to NetBeans IDE and see productivity improvements? Did you port an internal application to use NetBeans RCP? Do you offer to your customers an application based upon the platform? Sharing your experiences is a good way of contributing to the Communiy Docs program. Aside from telling the world you're using NetBeans, this kind of contribution might offer insights to other users considering a move to NetBeans IDE for a similar project. It also helps us to understand what users are doing with the IDE and how to make it even better.
- Use the BriefTutorialOutline as a template for contributing "how to" guides and tutorials.
- Editorial Guidelines for Submitted contributions by Catherine Pawlick. Here you'll find tips on making your contribution look neater and more professional. This guide is recommended for anyone who writes technical documentation.
- There is a reference sheet about using the wiki markup language to write structured documentation using the wiki syntax. There is also a Java plugin called WikiWizard you can use. After installation, you select "WikiWizard" from the "Editor" drop-down box at the upper right corner of your editor window.