About 8 reasons why you should write for the php.net manual

In response to a recent post by Hannes Magnusson titled “8 reasons why you should *not* write for the php.net manual“, I offer about 8 reasons why you should. Although at times subtle, Hannes shares good points regarding some of the frustration that comes with working on a successful (and old) Open Source project like PHP. How do we appropriately credit the kind souls who seemingly work anonymously within the php.net CVS repository? Not sure, but here are about 8 reasons why you should write for the official PHP manual:

  • You’ll make your mother and friends proud
  • You’ll own a cool @php.net email address
  • You’ll get to see and use your own work online for later use, and allow others to help improve upon it
  • You’ll be happy to know that millions of developers benefit from your work daily
  • You’ll gain experience using DocBook and the related tools to create documentation
  • You’ll gain real karma by contributing to an Open Source project
  • You’ll make new friends
  • You’ll increase your Ohloh coolness factor
  • You’ll be able to say “I write documentation for PHP, the most popular web scripting language on the planet
  • You’ll end up learning PHP, especially the quirks and changes that it goes through. 5.3.0 has what again?
  • You’ll add the experience to your resume
  • You’ll have an excuse to tell people… “It sounds fun but I promised to document SPL tonight so can’t go
  • You’ll help make something better, something you use. It’s good to use things that get better, right?
  • And lastly, it’ll give you something else to blog about

There are plenty more reasons but eightish is a good number. It’s worth noting that Hannes does an incredible amount of work for PHP as a webmaster, documentation geek, and php-src guy. See also the Documentation HOWTO for how to contribute.

7 thoughts on “About 8 reasons why you should write for the php.net manual”

  1. I want to say that if the English is not your native language, you can participate in translating the manual to your language and help people in your country understand it better.

  2. Good point, the more translators the better and more are needed. If interested, see the translation section of the doc howto.

    People are also needed for other tasks like writing unit tests, monitoring user note submissions (to the manual), solving/submitting bugs, and more.

  3. don’t know why php.net doesn’t use wiki for php manual, I ask ed for a cvs translator account one year ago, and never get reponse from mailist, looks the exist translators only appear once a month there

  4. It’s not a wiki mainly due to our need for DocBook and structure. There is a tool underway to allow easy patches to be created online (especially useful for translations) but it stalled due to lack of time by the developer.

    As far as translations, and your account, last month I emailed every pending account so perhaps the email was lost but typically unless someone who requests an account writes the mailing list explaining why, and that they actually want to do work (and not just get an account for the sake of having an account)… they are overlooked/forgotten. But lately I’ve been emailing all those who make account requests and it’s been working well. So, re-apply please :)

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