It looks like my original post prompted you guys to ask for help with your project. Here are some questions, ideas, and observations.
Actually I hadn’t seen your post until earlier today:) Sorry. I got prompted when I sent an email in response to a post about updates to the mailing list. The response I got from the author and others prompted me to send out a more formal request:)
First, what license is your content under? It does not appear to be clear on the wiki.
I do not have an answer for that at this time… This is in part due to the situation regarding manual development which I will go into in response to some of your other questions. But this is a good point, and will be brought up and discussed as soon as I can to settle on it. It will likely be some sort of CC license, freely distributable, but the exact restrictions beyond that I don’t have at the moment.
Hell, for that matter, what is the official content licensed under?
Also a really good question;) A quick grep on the manual only showed a mention of licensing in regards to audio formats, so it doesn’t appear to be properly licensed either.
Is this project an official Ardour manual re-write? If not, what is the possibility of the work being moved upstream to the official manual?
The answer to the first question is complicated. This is primarily due to the fact that defining an ‘official’ action is complicated on that unless Paul is involved;) The short answer to this is, the manual gets updated by submitting something better. This is an effort to create something MUCH better, to replace the now very outdated manual. So to answer the second question, as long as the output from it is good it is probably very likely it will replace the official manual. Does that make sense at all(Honest question here, kind tired so I may have rambled incoherently)?
Has there been any attempt to write patches against the official documentation, has anyone talked to Paul about the best course of action for a manual re-write?
Yes and yes. I am in fairly constant communication with Paul(Whether or not he wants me to be;) as are several others that have been heavily involved with this and are admins on the wiki.(Tanjeff and Jorn). He is well aware of this project, however that does not mean that it is ‘official’ for the reasons listed above. This originally was born on discussions stemming from work that Tanjeff did in patching the xml of the docbook manual. The catch is patching against docbook is not a skill everyone has that might want to help, and hasn’t been working thus far, thus why the manual is so far out of date.
Has there been an attempt to contact Ben Powers (http://www.out-of-order.ca/tutorials/ardour) to assist in updating his manual, and/or have this integrated into the official documentation? This manual is under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License version 3. Which allows someone to use the content without permission, as long as attribution is given.
There has been no attempt to my knowledge to contact Ben directly, however he does appear to be on the Ardour User mailing list, so if he would like to help he is more than welcome. However the goal of his tutorial and this manual are different, as this is aiming to be a technical reference manual, whereas his tutorial seems to be more a workflow based solution. Does not precludeit from inclusion in any official documentation however, as there is easily room for both. There are also other things in the works outside of the Ardour project in as far as documenting it that it is not my place to talk about, sorry.
This is why I asked why there isn't a tab for the official Manual on the menu. Right now the manual is hidden, this can only hurt our chances of growth.
I believe the decision was made not to transfer over the tab in the website rewrite specifically because the manual is so far out of date that for newcomers to Ardour it might do more harm than good. It still referenced the edit cursor as an example, which has been gone for so long and changed the fundamental editing model of Ardour in such a way it would only cause confusion.
When a better solution is there however, there is nothing stopping the tab from being reinstated as far as I am aware, but that is Paul’s call, not mine:)
Screencasts for everything that can be done in Ardour would be fantastic. However there already exists screencasts covering many topics, I feel that they should be embedded on the ardour website.
Like what has happened with the manual over the years, there has been lots of talk of screencast series but not enough action. Recently there has been some good ones poping up I believe, the catch is keeping them maintained and updated for new versions of Ardour. However the short answer of this is that yes, this is being discussed. Since thi is also Paul’s call in the end however I will have to stop there.
I don't have a strong development background, but recently I have been working quite a bit with Jquery and Shadowbox. I have expanded my employers website to use these technologies. One of the things we did was use Shadowbox to launch video from veeple, but the same can be done for youtube, vimeo, viddler, dailymotion, etc. I can take the code that is already written for this, and help incorporate it into ardour.org.
While the offer is great, on the other hand I can also say that implementing similar functioanlity on Ardour’s website is literally a cakewalk due to it being based on Drupal. That being said, nothing say that improvements can’t be made.
I don't have a strong documentation background, but I often write howto's for people who need step by step documentation on how to use certain software. I have 10+ years of Linux under my belt, and even though I don't know everything, I know allot. I am happy to use this experience to improve Ardour.
Again I encourage you to email me and I can set you up with a login to Daisy. That particular effort is only happening seperate from the website due to it requiring some things that are not possible on Ardour’s webhost. There are other solutions being loked for in the long term, but the more important thing is to get the content done for the moment.
But either way, I do also encourage you to join IRC as lots of discussion on all of these topics happens there. #ardour on Freenode