DrupalCon Chicago Docs Sprint

arianek's picture
2011-03-11 09:00 - 17:00 America/Chicago
Event type: 

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:

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!


I was here...

mikeker's picture

As requested, I'm posting here. Thanks for organizing!

Doc Sprint

jhibbets's picture

I was at the Doc Sprint on Friday. Nice to meet some folks and glad to help.
Jason Hibbets

I'm here! (commenting as

rootwork's picture

I'm here! (commenting as requested by arianek)

Me too...

lindsayo's picture

Me too...


dstol's picture


attended and contributed to

mbunyard's picture

attended and contributed to documentation sprint

I was here

mikehchase@gmail.com's picture

Thank you so much for letting me help with the upgrade documentaion. I will need this stuff very soon. I learned a lot, but I have a long way to go. Good first step! MHC

Great to be here!

wylbur's picture


I am here

gravelpot's picture

Working on the D6->D7 upgrade path documentation.

I am here..

jjkd's picture

I am here, working on the trigger module.


Itangalo's picture

Thanks for all your efforts. Great sprint!

Thanks for organizing the sprint

Barry Madore's picture

Lots of important work getting done here today. It's been great fun. Happy to be involved again.

Barry Madore
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

I was here

ice5nake's picture


I am here!

maryannking's picture

working on D7 documentation


skjalf's picture

Thanks for organizing, Ariane :)

Present remotely

jhodgdon's picture

I am sprinting on IRC - mostly pointing people to drewish for in-person help on contributing to API documentation, and reviewing API doc patches

I am here!

maryannking's picture

working on d7 documentation write-ups


tdway's picture


I am here

greggmarshall's picture

But not all here


Senpai's picture


Joel Farris | my 'certified to rock' score


frankcarey's picture



ethanw's picture


Thanks again!

repoman's picture

Thanks Arianek for helping me get started on my first sprint. Many more to join as I get up to speed. See everyone at the next Con!


jeffschuler's picture

been getting started working on API module and related issues.

me too

chachasikes's picture

i was there!

Got a lot out of it

jn2's picture

I learned a lot from jhodgdon's excellent coaching of elrayle on IRC.

Great sprint. I particularly

eric_sea's picture

Great sprint. I particularly enjoyed the discussion with Itangalo and Kvantomme regarding Drupal Help, DITA, and mapping of learning topics & core competencies for the Drupal Open Learning Initiative. I am walking away with several clear action items which will hopefully result in some meaningful progress. Thank you!

thanks again to everyone who

arianek's picture

thanks again to everyone who made it to the sprint! i was really thrilled with how many of you turned out and cranked out docs work for most of the day, i think we made some excellent progress on a lot of issues!

it'll probably take me a few days to start getting caught up on the issue queue, but i'll be combing through the updated issues in the next bit.

see you next time (or on irc/the issue queue)!

Thanks again!

sylvain_a's picture

I was briefly there on friday, and hope to continue working with the people I've met there!


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