We have documented Drupal 7 core with an exhaustive set of Walkthroughs as a community effort. Documenting Drupal 8 core is ongoing, send an email to Kata, our community manager if you’d like to join the project.

The client: the Drupal community

Drupal is a free and open-source content management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It is used as a back-end framework for at least 2.1% of all Web sites worldwide, ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including WhiteHouse.gov and data.gov.uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration. The Drupal community with more than 1 million members is the driving force behind the project.

The challenge: how to collaborate on documentation

In the Drupal community we excel at sharing code, but we are terrible at sharing documentation. The majority of the community documentation is written by a small number of people. During development many people have learned to contribute back the patches they make. A similar system for contributing back documentation doesn't exist. To get people to collaborate we needed to invent a new tool that makes it easy to create, reuse and share documentation between sites and the Drupal project at large. Now that this tool —WalkHub— is ready to be used, we set out to challenge the community and document Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 core.

Why WalkHub?

Walkthroughs are especially suited for making reusable chunks of content. They define a new format of tutorials that are strictly structured and that can easily be adapted to the visual context of a website. As a result it will be much easier to reuse Walkthroughs between projects.

WalkHub is open source, just like Drupal. You can use the service on walkhub.net, or set up your own WalkHub for free.

The Walkthrough collections for Drupal 7 and 8 core are public and free to use.

This means that the Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 core Walkthroughs can be used on any site that contains the core Drupal functionality. If you have built a site, you already have user-friendly, task-oriented documentation for the basic functionality and core modules. You can deliver it along with the site, if no specific functionality has been added, or you can focus on only documenting custom functionality.

The solution: a community effort

We started working on the Drupal 7 documentation with our experienced Walkthrough creators and a small team of volunteers to get the workflow right for a larger community effort. Then we organized documentation sprints at the Drupal Developer Days Szeged 2014, where we created an exhaustive documentation for Drupal 7 core containing 166 Walkthroughs and started documenting Drupal 8 core in a similar manner.

About the author

Diána Lakatos

Senior Technical Writer

Diána is a Senior Technical Writer at Pronovix. She is specialized in API documentation, topic-based authoring, and contextual help solutions. She writes, edits and reviews software documentation, website copy, user documents, and publications. She also enjoys working as a Program Monitor for NHK World TV and Arirang TV.

She graduated as a programmer, then went on earning system administrator and system analyst and designer degrees. She's fluent in English and German, and worked as a translator for a publishing company translating books from German to Hungarian. She's the Hungarian translator of Basecamp.

Before becoming a writer, she worked with international clients like Sony Pictures Television, Da Vinci Learning and The Walt Disney Company as a key account manager in integrated marketing campaigns focusing on digital media.