Open Writing! Collaborative Authoring for CloudStack Documentation by Jessica Tomechak


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Open Writing! Collaborative Authoring for CloudStack Documentation by Jessica Tomechak

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Open Writing! Collaborative Authoring for CloudStack Documentation by Jessica Tomechak

  1. 1. November 2012Open Writing !For Apache CloudStack(Incubating)
  2. 2. We’ll Cover:Where We Are Our doc website Our modular doc repo Community participationHow We Do That Wiki for doc process docs Docbook + Publican for authoring Reviewboard for reviews Jira for doc bugs Jenkins for continuous doc builds IRC and lists for discussions Transifex for localizationHow We Got Here Joining Apache From unstructured to modular source Why Publican? And other design decisionsHow You Can Do That Becoming a doc contributor
  3. 3. Where We Are:Basically Where We Are• Doc doc website: (soon to redirect)• Doc• Doc• Mailing
  4. 4. Where We Are:Apache CloudStack Doc Website
  5. 5. Where We Are:Pre-Apache CloudStack Doc Website
  6. 6. Where We Are:Doc Source Code Repo
  7. 7. How We Got Here:CloudStack is Donated to Apache• In April 2012, Citrix Systems Inc. donated CloudStack code anddocumentation to the Apache Software Foundation, and CloudStack enteredthe Apache incubation process, the first step towards becoming a full-fledgedApache project• CloudStack already had lots of published technical documentation, mostly asdownloadable PDFs with source in Microsoft Word• Citrix tech pubs team aimed to donate the documentation in a way that wouldenable open-source contribution and align with open-source practices
  8. 8. How We Got Here:From Unstructured to Modular Source• Docbook XML: community preferred this 100%. Familiar to most members. Discussion brief!• How to get from MS Word to Docbook XML? Given <400 pages of docs: by cut and paste.• Advantages of non-automation:– Leave cruft behind, update old sections, copyedit. Add only good stuff to your repo– Improve doc design and modularity along the way– Always have a buildable doc set: skip the intermediate stage of semi-converted outputthat awaits tweaking• Some tools we considered and rejected:– ooo2sdbk, aka Bellots Convertisseur: Seems to require a lot of customization; and is in French– pcwTextExportr: Tried, didn’t work– OpenOffice "save as Docbook XML" feature, requires you to download XSLT & find instructions for XML filter:Download links = broken– YAWC: “no longer provide support” = likely converts to an outdated Docbook format– Hire a format conversion service– Automate using OOo SDK
  9. 9. How We Got Here:Setting Up the Doc Repo• git• No decision to make here, it’s the same as used for the project’s code• Discussion was required: standalone doc repo, or directory within code repo?• Project community decided to keep docs and code in one repo. Advantages cited:– Easier to find the doc source– More likely to remember to check in docs with code
  10. 10. How We Do That:Documentation Process Docs• We provide how-to’s and other process docs for documentation contributors
  11. 11. How We Do That:Modular Docbook XML Source Files• We make each heading a separate XML file; about one “page” per file• All files are in one directory; no subdirectories dividing the files into “books”• 500 files total as of November 2012Advantages of Modular Docbook Files:• Reuse• Small files = easier to distribute work• Easier to pass review with smaller commits• Dynamically modify text with conditionals and variables• Source control
  12. 12. How We Do That:Modular Docbook XML Source FilesExample file for a single section: whatis.xml(Not shown: standard XML header, entity file declaration, and Apache license)<section id="whatis"><title>What Is &PRODUCT;?</title><para>&PRODUCT; is an open source software platform that pools computing resources to build public, private, andhybrid Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds. &PRODUCT; manages the network, storage, and compute nodes that makeup a cloud infrastructure. Use &PRODUCT; to deploy, manage, and configure cloud computing environments.</para><para>Typical users are service providers and enterprises. With &PRODUCT;, you can:</para><itemizedlist><listitem><para>Set up an on-demand, elastic cloud computing service. Service providers can sell self servicevirtual machine instances, storage volumes, and networking configurations over the Internet.</para></listitem><listitem><para>Set up an on-premise private cloud for use by employees. Rather than managing virtual machines inthe same way as physical machines, with &PRODUCT; an enterprise can offer self-service virtual machines to userswithout involving IT departments.</para></listitem></itemizedlist><mediaobject><imageobject><imagedata fileref="./images/1000-foot-view.png" /></imageobject><textobject><phrase>1000-foot-view.png: Overview of &PRODUCT;</phrase></textobject></mediaobject></section>
  13. 13. How We Do That:Modular Docbook XML Source FilesExample file: whatis.xml inside a larger section, aka chapter(Not shown: standard XML header, entity file declaration, and Apache license)<chapter id="concepts"><title>Concepts</title><xi:include href="whatis.xml" xmlns:xi="" /><xi:include href="feature-overview.xml" xmlns:xi="" /><xi:include href="deployment-arch-overview.xml xmlns:xi="" />...</chapter>
  14. 14. How We Do That:Modular Docbook XML Source FilesExample of reuse: concepts.xml included in two book filesAdmin_Guide.xml:<book><bookinfo id="cloudstack_admin"><title>&PRODUCT; Administrators Guide</title>...<xi:include href="concepts.xml" xmlns:xi="" /><xi:include href="accounts.xml" xmlns:xi="" />...</book>Installation_Guide.xml:<book><bookinfo id="book-installation"><title>&PRODUCT; Installation Guide</title>...<xi:include href="concepts.xml" xmlns:xi="" /><xi:include href="installation.xml" xmlns:xi="" />...</book>
  15. 15. How We Do That:PublicanWhat is Publican?• An open-source tool hosted by Fedora:• Easy to set up• Applies brands to “skin" content• Can use conditional tags• Generates a variety of output formats, and we use quite a few of them• Generates .po files for translators• User
  16. 16. How We Do That:PublicanHow does it work?• A required set of files in a directory structure• Config file• Command line• Output• Debugging•
  17. 17. How We Do That:PublicanExample Publican directoriescloudstack/docsadminguide.cfg (Configuration file for building Admin_Guide.xml)installation.cfg (Configuration file for building Installation_Guide.xml)README.txt/en-US (Input files in Docbook)about-hosts.xmlaccounts.xmlAdmin_Guide.xmlconcepts.xmlInstallation_Guide.xmlwhatis.xml.../tmp (Output files)/en-US/html/pdf
  18. 18. How We Do That:PublicanInstall Publican on Ubuntu> sudo apt-get update> sudo apt-get install fop publican
  19. 19. How We Do That:PublicanExample config filexml_lang: en-UStype: Bookdocname: Installation_Guidebrand: cloudstackchunk_first: 1chunk_section_depth: 1condition: installOutput type. Publican can also do articles, etc.Publican looks for an XML file with this nameand uses that as the main book fileThe product logo, CSS styles, copyright text,nav button images, etc. are set in the brandChunk settings control when Publican starts anew HTML output fileConditional text marked with any other labelwill be excluded from the output
  20. 20. How We Do That:PublicanExample command line and output> Publican build --langs en-US --formats html,pdf --config installation.cfgSetting up en-USProcessing file tmp/en-US/xml_tmp/about-hosts.xml -> tmp/en-US/xml/about-hosts.xml...*WARNING: Questionable tag found: inlinegraphicThis tag breaks section 508 accessibility standards and makes translation extremelydifficult....Processing file tmp/en-US/xml_tmp/zone-add.xml -> tmp/en-US/xml/zone-add.xmlBeginning work on en-USStarting htmlWriting whatis.html for section(whatis)...Writing index.html for bookFinished html
  21. 21. How We Do That:PublicanExample: Debugging an errorPublican gives useful debugging output. For example, if you try to include whatis.xml twice in the same book:Installation_Guide.xml:6: validity error : ID whatis already definedThe ID “whatis” is defined in the <section> tag at the top of the file whatis.xml:<section id="whatis">Each ID must be unique, so Publican won’t build this book. If you look at Installation_Guide.xml, after someinvestigation you will see how whatis.xml is included twice: once on its own, and once inside concepts.xml.<book><bookinfo id="book-installation"><title>&PRODUCT; Installation Guide</title>...<xi:include href="whatis.xml" xmlns:xi="" /><xi:include href="concepts.xml" xmlns:xi="" />...
  22. 22. How We Do That:Documentation Reviews
  23. 23. How We Do That:Jira for Doc
  24. 24. How We Do That:Jenkins for Continuous Doc Builds•• Trigger a build whenever code changes or at another configurable intervalAdvantages:• Continuously test the doc build, find errors quickly• Continuously update the published docs• Receive notifications
  25. 25. How We Do That:Jenkins for Continuous Doc Builds
  26. 26. How We Do That:Jenkins for Continuous Doc Builds
  27. 27. How We Do That/How You Can Do It Too:Open-source Documentation Community• Publicizing the opportunity to contribute to documentation• Communication channels– Mailing– IRC chat: #cloudstack on– Facebook:• Participating in discussions in a group known for frank opinions stated boldly
  28. 28. How You Can Do That:Documentation Contributor’s How-To• How-tos for contributors, status, plans, and other notes are all written down• Documentation needs and proposals are discussed on• Volunteer to write something by assigning a bug to yourself• Documentation reviews through Apache Review Board:– Submit new content as patches– Get review comments and fix them, until a reviewer clicks Ship It!– Apply the patch and update the review status to Submitted• Style guide, required signoffs, or other formal process: Aside from the standard Apache CLA,this is not in place yet, if ever. Just write!• Another way to contribute: File doc bugs! Here’s
  29. 29. How You Can Do That:Documentation Sprints• Publicized on the mailing list• Can be in-person gathering, IRC session, or distributed network of participants• Limited time period to ensure focus• Signup sheets and instructions for participants are in the project wiki• Any contributor can start a Sprint!
  30. 30. Join the community!• Why?ᵒ Learn the coolest technologies shaping the next decadeᵒ Be part of a passionate community working at ground-breaking speedᵒ Solve cool real-world problemsᵒ For the love of open sourceᵒ If you want to rise and shine• Still don’t believe us – Let the numbers speakᵒ 30k active community members in 8 months, ~100 IRC usersᵒ Exponentially growing dev/user community discussionsᵒ Apache is the industry standard for 10+ years in OSS foundations, 100+projects, 800 developersᵒ Well known projects: Apache webserver, Tomcat, Hadoop, Cassandra
  31. 31. Apache CloudStack Status• In Incubation since April 2012• PPMC and Mentors set up in April• Code migrated to Apache git• Migration underway from– Website, now– Jira (bugs), now– Wiki (internal docs), now• New committers, partners, developers every week• Apache CloudStack 4.0: First ASF community release, Nov 2012• Active development community
  32. 32. More
  33. 33. November 2012Thank You