Write a Better FM – The book

Have you ever noticed that the more likely a given Open Source project’s community is to tell you to RTFM, the less the chance is that they have a FM that’s worth R’ing? I don’t think that this is a coincidence.

I wrote a while back about the need to write a better FM. This is something I’ve been thinking about for at least ten years, and probably more like fifteen, and I thought maybe it was time to get some of my thoughts down for other people to respond to.

I took a stab at writing something earlier this year, in conjunction with a group of people who seemed to have a similar vision. It was a website where folks were, supposedly, writing a book around the topic of writing Open Source documentation. Ironically, the project got abandoned and folks moved away, and now the website is a spam trap. That’s unfortunately how it often is with documentation projects.

However, I’ve kept noodling at the idea, and have even started writing something. I’ve also talked with several people, involved with docs efforts at Perl, PHP, and Apache, who are interested in participating and writing something.

So, any day now (probably after I get done with TekX) I’ll be putting my initial work in revision control (probably GitHub, for reasons I’ll discuss in another post, later) and soliciting contributions. I intend to be a benevolent dictator, at least until there’s a good solid outline. (Want to know why? Well, read the book and find out!)

If you’re interested in participating in this effort, please let me know. The prerequisite is that you’re actively involved in some Open Source project, and have participated in some way in the documentation of that project.

Update: Better FM Website