What’s all this about technical docs?
GREAT TOOLS THAT LACK GREAT DOCS
We’ve all been there: you’ve heard about a great open source tool, plugin, or project that does exactly what you’ve been trying to do… but the docs are lacking. Maybe the project has documentation, but the specific function or method you want to use just isn’t detailed well enough. Or maybe there’s a detailed list of commands, but it’s lacking a human-readable guide to help you figure out how to use the features, and what questions to ask to get the thing running.
That’s where we come in. Open Source Docs Press aims to connect open source projects with technical writers who can create real, professional documentation to bridge those gaps. We do that in two ways:
- Crowdfunding campaigns to fund technical documentation projects
- Creating and selling eBooks and PoD books
CROWDFUNDING TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION
Technical documentation is a specialized skill set that exists independent from the ability to code. Developers may be great at writing kick-ass tools, but may not be the greatest at anticipating and documenting the needs of their users. Open Source Docs Press enables developers to engage professional technical writers on a per-project basis to create real documentation for open source projects.
By crowdfunding these documentation projects, you and other developers can pool your funds – as little as the cost of a cup of coffee – and hire real technical writers to create easy-to-read, thorough, professional documentation for your favorite open source tools and projects.
PDFS, EBOOKS AND POD BOOKS
In the spirit of the open source community, there will always be a version of our documentation that is free to download and share under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International license (CC-BY NC 4.0).
For some projects, we may also create eBooks and PoD books, which may be distributed to backers of specific tiers of our Kickstarters, and/or may be sold on Amazon or other retailers for a reasonable cost. The sales of these books helps to fund the costs of compiling and distributing them via these additional formats, and helps make the materials available to a wider audience of developers.
FUNDING DIVERSITY IN OPEN SOURCE
Additionally, 20% of all eBook and PoD book sale revenue goes to fund diversity in open source initiatives. According to Wired, Diversity in Open Source is Even Worse than in Tech Overall. As diversity in tech is near and dear to our hearts, we’re happy to allocate a percentage of revenue to improve diversity in the open source community.