OK, I will get started.  Above all, please speak up on changes that seem incorrect, inaccurate, or inappropriate for translation, historic methods or other reasons. 

My focus is helping survey developers who are not programmers, daily users, or necessarily computer experts.  Thanks for letting me help your group reach that goal.

Key is I have limited experience writing manuals and software that can be easily translated to 50+ languages as you support now.  My history, while worldwide, has been mostly in making and selling software for engineers who had college instruction in English and can operate in an English software environment.  So while I am surrounded by people such as yourselves that are multi-multi-lingual, my focus will naturally fall towards helping get the concept across clearly to native-English readers.  So I look forward to you helping me understand where that ideal conflicts with i18n issues.

Hopefully, we can all converge on a manual style that works for everyone as well.  And be patient as I even vacillate on the right balance of graphics, screen captures, and other techniques to help get the message across in an interesting and proficient way.  Bob, Marcel, Carsten and others should continue to speak-up often and openly as I try to come up to speed with your development culture.

I would encourage we start adding information and external links to technology for writing better surveys as well.  After all, it is not just the software but the method and language used to ask questions that are key to being successful.


Carsten Schmitz wrote:
Hello Randy,

your proposals sounds good to me. Please get at it if you have the time. 
I also made you an editor in the wiki so you can move things around.
I don't think staging is necessary. Please not also that I am just 
testing a Wiki just for internationalization of documentation (Anwiki), 
because I think that the current TikiWiki features for keeping 
translations synchronized are not very good. I will keep you all posted 
on the progress.

Best regards

Carsten Schmitz

Randy Harr, Sevni schrieb:
Just checked out your updates to the Manual Guidelines page.

Cookbook, Limes.  Around here that usually means Tequila and 
Margarita's.  Or maybe a nice spicy Indian fish curry.  Lots of things 
you could do with that theme.

Quickly looking at the material again, here are some near term 
suggested edits I can make.  This is basic stuff on just a few pages 
compared to the more major restructuring proposed earlier.

a) Login, User Preferences, and HTML Editor
  -- This could really be renamed a "Getting Started" page with four 
      1) Login
      2) Setting User Preferences
      3) Setting HTML Editor mode
      4) Basics of Navigating the _Lime_Survey Administrative Interface
  -- Item 4 would be pulled out of the following page on creating a 
  -- some or all of the items can be on separate sub-pages, likely 
only item 4 will be lengthy enough for that though
  -- "rename" could mean simply retitling the top of the page but 
keeping the TikiWiki page name for reasons outlined in the Manual 
Guideline (ala translations)
  -- A majority of the description of what the HTML editor is, how to 
control it, how to use it, etc. should be pulled out into a separate 
page.  This page could be a fifth item in the outline above, a sub 
page to the Basics page, or simply stand-alone page that is 
hyperlinked to the HTML Editor mode section (note: standalone means it 
is outside of the "structure" of the manual).  But it deserves its own 
page to be referenced from many locations.  In fact, it should be made 
a "hot word" in the TikiWiki so it is automatically linked when used 
in text otherwise.

b) Creating Surveys -- Introduction
  --  We are now left with "Basic Survey elements" section on this 
page (and the newly added video tutorial).  The remaining part of this 
page can be moved to the above "Getting Started" section as a fifth or 
sixth element there with the same title.  This page then simply 
becomes an outline for its many sub-sections with little intro text.

c) Creating a new survey and beyond
  -- these next four pages are part of a basic "setting up a new 
survey", following by "Creating a new group" and its subsection, and 
then "adding a question / answers" sections with subsections.  See 
previous suggestions on restructuring here.

Anything you want me to do from the above beyond simple editing of 
pages will require my login get structure editing and new page 
creation.  This includes the more major restructuring presented earlier.

If there are concerns with the more major changes being proposed (hard 
to visualize; you all are so focused and embedded in 2.0 that are 
being distracted thinking about 1.x now; etc), turn on "Page staging 
and approval" and avoid accepting any of the changes I make until you 
can review them in batches and more entirely.  If not wanting to apply 
this staging to everyone, partition users that should not be "staged" 
into a specific group that you then allow to bypass staging.  See the 
TikiWiki "Wiki" admin page of options for more information.


Randy Harr, Sevni wrote:
Hi Guys,

Sorry, I have been off line a few days.  Busy times in Silicon Valley
these past few weeks.  Still interested although my immediate need
project and time availability has since changed over the past month. 
Preparing for a big board meeting on Tuesday as it is.  I will draft a
response to Marcel's last email this weekend.


P.S. randy.harr for skype, surplusgadgets2003 for YahooIM,
surplusgadgets for AIM.  I can accept invitations.  But honestly, email
is usually the best as I use too many offices and computers and do not
have equal access to instant services at all of them.

Carsten Schmitz wrote:
Hello Randy,

sorry for not very much reaction from my side so far. The time before
and after Christmas has been pretty crazy and I have been drawn out of
organizational things.
Please let me know how I can support you in your efforts.
Do you have some kind of Instant Messenger or Skype to contact you