I based my application for the Outreach Program on a DocBook to Mallard port of the Vinagre help.. suffice to say, it wasn’t that great. So, I have now fixed it up, with some pointers from Shaun, to be more topic-oriented and less *ahem* technical.
I have since started working on Brasero. This time, I have an advantage of starting with some notes for what should be included in the help, which were written up at the Open Help Conference brainstorming sprint. While writing instructions on how to use the application is not particularly challenging, I am finding that writing in a way which is “not technical” and understandable by users who would look at the help quite difficult, because terms which I take for granted are often misunderstood or not known by the audience I should be aiming at.. which is probably not anyone reading this blog. But the biggest problem I have come across is that Brasero could do with some love and care. I won’t count the number of ways of making it crash that I have managed to find, but with 229 open bugs, it is in need of some maintenance.
I have not been able to find a good guide on the style of the writing needed for user help, so I have been using the Empathy help as an example, with Shaun giving me feedback as I go along.