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
    • Testing the verification JavaScript on the download page at least once a year with Firefox Beta and Chrome Beta, unless it was already tested as part of the release process of a new version. (#18224)

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.