Also, as part of my business, I have had the job of writing easy to use HTML/DOC/RTF/WHATEVER tutorials from an "end-user" standpoint of using a programs.
That said, I will be writing docs for my clients to use the user portion of my Virtualmin/Webmin/Usermin portal based on the Virtualmin Pro subscription I bought.
Would y’all be interested in copies of the documentation I write, either for distribution to your clients as generic docs for “their” clients? Or for … well, whatever you want …?
I tend to use generic information when I build my docs, such as "your-domain-name-here.com" as a domain name in Virtualmin, when I build my docs.
If so, I’ll either email them to whomever is interested, or post links here, as I develop them.
I would be very interested in this. Another product has a nice idea, where they actually have a whole website devoted to end-user documentation. I like how they did it, since it is very user-friendly. I would love to see something like this for Virtualmin Professional. Maybe you can get some good ideas from their work:
Here is another similar site that a hosting provider offers for their clients as the Web Hosting Manual:
It has a lot of good information, but I like the layout of the Site-Helper sites much better, since I think it is much easier to use.
I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking on this issue, and I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to address it for everyone. Obviously, Jamie and I can’t document everything in Webmin, Virtualmin, and Usermin in excrutiating detail (though we’ve both tried really hard in our books on the subject, and we continue to do so on an almost daily basis). It’s just such a big set of topics, that really encompasses every aspect of system administration (and we all know how many books there are on system administration tasks).
One idea that seems very appealing to me is a good wiki that is accessible to everyone that provides roll-backs for any problematic edits (that’s a nice way of saying “spam or otherwise offensive content”). MediaWiki and Moin both seem very strong in this space, with moderately different focus and features. OpenACS has a wiki, but it is anemic in comparison, though it would be ideal to be able to share login sessions–with the other wikis it would not be possible. Additionally, we’re currently using asciidoc, which is much nicer for processing than a wiki can currently be. asciidoc can generate clean docbook, which can be processed into nice HTML and nice PDF output. It’s hard to beat the quality of output with a wiki and some stylesheets…
But, whatever we do, I retained electronic distribution rights to my book, so it could legally be posted into a wiki or something for further extension and edits by the community. And we could add some chapters about Virtualmin to begin covering the new large subject of Virtualmin in better detail which isn’t currently covered by any published book. Perhaps we could even convince No Starch to run another edition off for us, despite the fact that the first edition wasn’t terribly profitable for them.
Lots of possibilities, but the actual implementation is complicated. Once we commit to a particular technology, we’re somewhat tied to it going forward.
In short, I’d love to get a more active documentation community going around the whole stack–Webmin, Virtualmin, and Usermin. Until we do get something official rolling, I will always accept documentation in any form and figure out how to make it available to everyone here at virtualmin.com.
I just wanted to add that I know you and Jamie have put a lot of effort into documenting Webmin, Usermin, and Virtualmin so far. Both of your books are excellent, and the new[A HRef="http://www.virtualmin.com/support/documentation/virtualmin-admin-guide/">Virtualminâ