2. Information for Mahara documentation writers

This is a list in progress as I work on the documentation. There are a number of things for which I create conventions. I want to keep them in a central space so that others have access to them and that I can refer to them as well. ;-)

The list is not in any particular order.

  • Screenshots are placed as figures and always include alt text and a figure description. The latter will receive numbering in the PDF export.

  • Admonitions in use are:

    • note: for anything that should receive a bit more attention
    • warning: for anything that needs to be done with caution
    • seealso: for references to other documents if they need special attention. References to other documents can also be included in the text inline.
    • todo: for keeping a running ToDo list
  • Buttons such as Save or Copy page and also portfolio sections such as Content, Porfolio etc. are highlighted as emphasized text (with a single *).

  • Little buttons can be included in the text.

  • Screenshots of Mahara sections are not made inline, but receive the “figure” directive. They always have an alt tag and also a brief description which will show up below the image and is numbered in LaTeX PDF.

  • Screenshots should have as little instructions as possible about the steps that are to be taken in them. Preferably, only the step numbers so that they can be exchanged more easily and the text of the steps is translatable because it is text and not part of the image. That could also mean that translators can translate the steps but don’t immediately have to change the screenshot.

  • Inline images that are refered to in the textsuch as edit should be included as shortcuts with the reference at the bottom of the page.

  • An index entry should be created for each section.

  • Long sections should be broken up into several pages to make the editing more manageable.

  • reStructuredText does not have a set hierarchy of heading levels. They depend on the individual files. However, to be consistent, the following convention exists:

    • Heading 1, e.g. 1.: ===============
    • Heading 2, e.g. 1.1.: —————
    • Heading 3, e.g. 1.1.1.: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • Heading 4, e.g. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  • Headings below h4 should be avoided.

  • I create screenshots with Shutter in Ubuntu. It is easy to add the callouts which indicate the steps to take. However, any other screenshot software can be used. Preferably, the callouts look similarly. The color is #4C711D.

  • The callouts in the screenshots refer to the steps that need to be taken.

  • Screenshots should only show the necessary area and not the entire screen or URL address bars etc. where not necessary.