Technical writers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of our end-user documentation, including our support pages:

  • Fixing regressions or important bugs on our documentation. This includes tasks identified through:
    • User support on WhisperBack, XMPP, etc.
    • The work of technical writers themselves.
    • The Tails community in general.
  • Redacting release notes based on the Changelog excerpts provided by RM.
  • Redacting exceptional publications on our blog (security advisory, etc.) or reviewing them.
  • Reviewing contributions to our documentation by paid workers or volunteer contributors For example, the Foundations Team sometimes writes known issues.
  • Maintaining a style guide of Tails-related terms and usage to summarizes the terminology decision taken elsewhere.
  • Documenting new features, including features.
  • Documenting known issues and their workarounds (e.g. on the FAQ or in the list known issues), based on information provided by our Help Desk and triaged by the Foundations Team.
  • Keeping our documentation efficient for the people reading them (relevant and easy to navigate).
  • Maintaining our documentation on tools that are not part of Tails but that we instruct people to use. For example, testing, updating, and debugging Etcher or the Secure Boot utilities of macOS.

On top of end-user documentation, technical writers can help with:

  • Improving the most important parts of the contributors documentation, for example, the pages that apply to all contributors, such as GitLab instructions.
  • Discussing UX copy with UX designers.

As technical writers have a limited amount of time to dedicate to these tasks, Tails as a project should redefine priorities on a regular basis. As general guidelines we should give priority to:

  • Tasks that have to be completed for a given version because documentation is a blocker for releasing.
  • Tasks that impact users the most or that impact the largest number of users.
  • Tasks that have the highest impact on sustainability.

These tasks are tracked using the Core work: Technical writing label on GitLab.