Friday there will be a Docs Sprint parallel with the Code Sprint at the conference center. I think we'll try and get going around 9am (sprint rooms should be open at 8am but I think everyone will be dragging by the end of the week, so 9am should be plenty early!)
Here is a bunch of information to get started with if you are planning on attending and consider yourself a non-coder or beginner. If you can get through prepping some of this before the sprint, you will have a head start once you get there, otherwise there should be some people around who can help you get going.
If you don't have a lot of experience contributing to Drupal, I highly recommend watching this great video of David Strauss' session about contributing at DrupalCamp Dallas. It is an excellent crash course in how things work and how to get started, and covers most of the basics like IRC, issue queues, etc.
There is a lot of more specific information on how to contribute to documentation and Docs Team here: http://drupal.org/contribute/documentation
There are several tools that you will need to set up if you are planning on doing technical docs (you can work on documentation that is on drupal.org with only a site account).
IRC is the text based chat client that the Drupal community uses, and it will be quite handy during the sprint if you have an IRC client installed and working so you can communicate with the other people there, and anyone who is joining the sprint remotely. We'll be working mostly in #drupal-docs and also #drupal-contribute for some developer oriented docs.
There is a ton of info on how to set up IRC on d.o.
Your Drupal.org account
Be sure you have signed up for a user account on drupal.org!
Setting up your dev/testing environment
You will have more options of what to work on if you're able to install and run a fresh version of the D7 HEAD (ie. the most up to date development version of the codebase) to do testing. This can be on a server if you have command line access to one, but most developers will run Drupal locally for testing/development purposes - running locally = installing a server on your laptop.
Using command line
Scared of using command line? Well, no time better than the present to face your fears! Of course you can do testing by manually clicking and downloading, and moving files around, but that is going to be painfully slow. On Macs you will have an application called "Terminal" that will allow you to use command line to quickly update your code, make and change permissions on files, etc.
Here is a great how-to for command line but it probably works only for unix/linux.
A text/code editor
This is not necessary but it is a good idea to install some sort of text editor as well, so that you can open up the code and look at it, and maybe edit some documentation, read through a patch, etc. There are several listed on this page. I use TextMate, and a lot of people like Komodo and Emacs, but what I can say about TextMate is that it has minimal bells and whistles, so it's pretty straightforward to get started.
Get oriented with Docs Team and what we work on
You can work on documentation that is on drupal.org just via the web interface. You will still need to be able to install D7 and any modules you are working with somewhere so you can be sure your documentation matches what is happening, but it's not as necessary to have it set up locally or to have command line access.
Here are some of the most useful links to get started working on documentation:
- Priority docs work
- Critical Docs Issues
- Getting started with Docs
- How to contribute to Docs
- Docs maintenance tasks
- Online docs Style Guide
- Online Docs Issue Queue
- Drupal core (code/API) docs
Ok! I think that should do it for now! Try and work through as much of this as you can beforehand or when you arrive at the sprint, and more experienced contributors will do our best to help out anyone who's just getting started. If you think you might be interested in a particular area of docs, you might also want to add your name and follow a docs issue tag from the Docs topics sub-groups page.
See you there!