Week 6 (19th Oct – 25th Oct, 2020)
Over the last few weeks, time seems to be passing by quite fast. I had so many plans for my work, but I feel I am still behind. Technical writing is clearly not as easy as it sounds, it’s a lot more than just writing and this week I decided to continue my work even after GSoD ends, as I really want to learn more about technical writing in greater detail. I guess the purpose of GSoD is this – to get you detailed knowledge about the field of technical writing.
Well back to the work….
Since last week, I have been working on the GNOME calculator app and I spent most of my time writing the docs for the different calculator modes. Well, as I said I thought it’s super easy and I thought I know everything now. But no.. writing a whole new page from scratch wasn’t that easy. It took up a significant amount of my time as it took me a while to understand the functionality and the various options that can be implemented for each of the modes. There were so many new things that I learnt while doing the research work.
The basic mode was still pretty easy to start with. But then came the real challenge. The Programming and Financial modes were completely new to me. Even looking at the Programming mode was kind of intimidating to say the truth. In total there were 5 modes that had no help documents whatsoever. So I had to understand them to the core and then go about writing the documentation for each.
To start with I decided that the help documentation for Calculator needed a new section in the index altogether to focus on the various views (modes). So, I created a new section with an overview document for “Operational Modes”. Next I created 5 individual documents within this section for each of the modes (i.e., Basic, Advanced, Financial, Programming and Keyboard).
Around this time, once I had already started working on these I discovered that someone else had just submitted a PR for the Programming mode! Oh well, I suppose that’s the way Open Source Communities work. To be honest, I was a bit stumped initially with the programming mode as there were quite a lot of options that I didn’t have much understanding of when I started. However, going through the new merge request I realized that I had made some mistakes in my doc, so I rebased with the updated master and updated my changes on top of the new file.
Whew!!!! I didn’t expect the calculator to be so difficult!