[Koha] The "one manual" idea

Elaine Bradtke eb at efdss.org
Fri Sep 22 04:01:13 NZST 2023

In principle, it's an excellent idea.  It will be a very big editing job
(that's an understatement).  We run on the latest stable release, and often
I find the answers to my questions in older versions of the manual.  How
would you retain the old information alongside the updates?  Each section
in release order? Highlight changes?  It will be tricky to set up. But once
it's done, it will be easier to maintain.
I'm intrigued, and possibly interested in helping out.
VWML <https://vwml.org>

On Thu, Sep 7, 2023 at 7:38 AM Charillon, Aude <
aude.charillon at ptfs-europe.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> In the Koha Documentation team, we have been discussing whether we
> still need one version of the manual per Koha version. The idea being
> mooted is that having only one manual for all versions in the future
> may be better.
> It's an idea that is still at the exploration stage; at this point we
> would like to get feedback from a wider group of people, hence this
> message! I included further down a summary of what has been raised so
> far. We are particularly interested in your thoughts on the following:
> - What would be impacted if we decided to move to one manual - that we
> haven't considered yet (see summary)? What issues may arise, who would
> they affect, what are your suggestions to solve them?
> - Are there any specific considerations for translated versions of the
> manual?
> - Are there any technical considerations that us non-developers
> haven't thought of?
> If you have questions, concerns or just think it's a good idea, it
> would also be nice to hear from you :-)
> Thanks,
> Aude [aude_c on Koha IRC]
> Documentation Manager for the 23.11 cycle
> Issues with the current situation
> - The documentation cycle doesn't match the Koha development cycle. It
> is near impossible for the Documentation team to document all the new
> features before the new Koha version is released. The manual published
> alongside the new Koha version is always behind.
> - When the manual is updated, the update is made to the master branch
> - the one that matches the numbering of the Koha version currently in
> development. This master branch isn't visible (unless you know where
> to find it). It is possible to "backport" updates to older versions of
> the manual but this is not straightforward. Because we are behind with
> documenting features, some updates would have to go back through
> several older versions of the manual, making the process even less
> straightforward. I'll be honest: it's rare these days when we backport
> to older versions.
> - For library teams, that means the explanation of a feature in their
> Koha version is more likely to be in a newer version of the manual
> (than in the one they'll land on when clicking the Help button).
> One manual - why it would be beneficial
> - Everything in one place: all the latest additions and improvements
> to the manual available straight away to everyone everywhere.
> - Translated manuals: only one version to keep on top of.
> - Easier to manage by the community.
> How it could work; questions and concerns identified
> - What if something changes in a newer version of Koha / only exists
> in some versions but not others? Wouldn't that be confusing in one
> manual?
> We would need to clearly mark sections with the Koha versions it
> applies to, e.g. "until 22.11", "from 23.05".
> Aude Charillon
> Customer Services Consultant
> PTFS Europe
> aude.charillon at ptfs-europe.com
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