Technical writer looking to contribute to docs

Hi there,

I am a veteran technical writer and I would like to contribute to Gnome docs. I have created an account with Gnome GitLab but do not know where to start next. Could someone point me to next steps and a good place to start?

Rob Thornton


Hi Rob! welcome to the project :slight_smile:

Are you more interested in user documentation or developer documentation?

In terms of documentation for end-users, the Documentation team wiki page exists. The info seems a little out of date (maybe that’s a good opportunity to contribute -); in particular the mailing lists have probably migrated here to Discourse, and the IRC room is likely bridged to Matrix, but that’s the ‘official starting point’ anyway.

For developer documentation, there are some resources at Documentation · GitLab, but mostly each library will maintain its own developer documentation, website etc. GNOME is largely organised in terms of “modules”, where each module has a team of maintainers who review proposed changes, so find some modules that interest you and follow up there.



Thanks so much for the welcome. :grinning:

I can can do developer or user docs but I’ll start with the user docs for now.

To start, I am going to find out more about the Documentation Team. As you said, updating the main page might be the first step.


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Hej and welcome! Thanks for your interest! Indeed I think we are pretty inactive these days; it’s more left up to individuals to contribute and edit (user) docs as far as I can say. (It always feels like a chicken-and-egg problem when there are contributors asking for a task and folks who have been around for a while say “Pick whatever interests you, we don’t have some list prepared”.)
There are a bunch of tasks in GitLab, see the second section on DocumentationProject/Tasks - GNOME Wiki! . And DocumentationProject/Tasks/ApplicationHelp - GNOME Wiki! is pretty okay-ish up-to-date. Also, feel free to ask any questions or what’s unclear - happy to help! Thanks!


Thanks for the welcome. while I am learning how to use GitLab, I decided to look at the user docs for Evolution (since it is definitely a GUI-based program and so right now I can contribute best there). So after some experimentation, I finally got Evolution to work with the latest stable version of Debian on VMWare Fusion 12 (I am using a Macbook M1).

Unfortunately, I had problems attaching my Gmail account to Evolution (which I fixed after some research). It seems to be related to OAuth2. Initially I got an “OAuth2 secret not found” response from Google until I registered my account with GNOME Accounts before using the Evolution account wizard. Should I report it? It’s an old problem dating back to as far as 2018.

And if I want to suggest changes to the Evolution docs, who should I talk to? I’m still learning how to use git-like software and I would like to figure out a process for discussing changes before committing changes.

Each app has a corresponding Gitlab project on Evolution’s is here: GNOME / evolution · GitLab

You can open issues in the issue tracker (search first as there may be an issue open already :slight_smile:

As far as I know, the user docs are here: help · master · GNOME / evolution · GitLab, grouped by locale. The C locale has the actual docs written in English. The other locales are maintained by translation teams who translate the English docs.

The documentation format is Mallard.

Hope this is useful :slight_smile: I am not involved in Evolution but most GNOME apps follow similar conventions I think.

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