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Welcome to the Slackware Documentation Project

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Ideas for contributing to the SlackDocs wiki

Contributing to the documentation of a project can be a highly rewarding and satisfying task, but many potential contributors are daunted by the prospect of writing documentation. The idea behind a wiki is not to create perfect documentation from the outset but to engage the community in making incremental improvements and getting there in the end. Hence, there is no necessity to be fazed by the thought.

Each individual may pick and choose topics to contribute, which they feel they are likely to add knowledge to. Here are some areas which may be of specific interest to potential contributors.

Edit, Expand, Improve

Editing, expanding and improving existing articles is a great way to start contributing to a Wiki-style documentation. Being a collaborative project, any and all improvements and corrections are welcome.

As a contributor, you should never feel that editing or correcting is any less important than contributing whole articles. Editing, correcting and improving is an integral part of a Wiki site and is as important as adding fresh content.

Substantive writing

When you are confident enough to go beyond editing and improving existing articles, here are some ideas for substantive contributions to the wiki, in no particular order.

Technical HOWTOs/Tutorials

Technical HOWTOs for performing specific tasks or achieving specific results are much appreciated by the Linux community. Technical HOWTOs focus on a specific task and how to get it done, step by step, with explanations and illustrations. Technical HOWTOs are highly task-oriented and should provide code examples when necessary. Caveats, notes and warnings play an important role in such articles and help the reader figure out any potential gotchas.

Some examples of technical HOWTOs may be:

and so on.

Specific programs or applications

These are short, informative pieces on specific programs or applications. Bear in mind that these topics need not be man-page substitutes. However they may provide enough information for users to get started with and may expand to deal with particular features that may need explanations or answers.

This may include topics on desktop applications and package management tools, for example.

General articles

These are articles that do not target any specific technical issue but focus instead on larger issues. A general article needs no specific technical know-how to write, but may be expanded later to provide links or short pointers to in-depth sources of knowledge on the same or similar subjects.

An example of a general article is the one on Slackware philosophy.

Unacceptable topics

Although a Wiki grants a lot of freedom to its contributors, there are certain topics and subjects best avoided in a Wiki. Some of those may be:

  • Subjective opinions or rants. These style of articles belong to blogs and not to information-sharing Wikis.
  • Topics which are too philosophically oriented. The main Slackware philosophy is already discussed in the Slackware way.
  • Topics which are critical of other distributions or the way other distributions or its maintainers/community approach issues. These kind of topics would show the Slackware community in an unprofessional light. Focus on positives, not negatives.
  • Any topic that is more discussion oriented than information oriented. For example, KDE vs. Xfce, or DE vs. WM. Discussing the preferences for desktop choice is a subjective opinion and not an information article, unless of course, the article has a specific technical input on the subject.

Potential contributors should also check for the existence of a topic in the Wiki before creating a new page with a similar topic. Avoiding duplication of effort is part of what a Wiki is all about.


  • Originally written by V.Harishankar for the SlackDocs Wiki Project.

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