For the 2014 Google Summer of Code, I am volunteering to mentor a student to conduct a thorough top-to-bottom, start-to-finish review of all of the Derby documentation.
A product as powerful and sophisticated as Derby depends crucially on its documentation, and part of the software process for any engineer is to learn how to write clearly, to learn how to use the tools and coding languages that are used by technical writers, and to learn how to contribute to the documentation process.
This project will help you develop and improve those skills, as you embark upon the career of a software professional.
The Derby documentation is composed of several major pieces:
1) The primary manual set is published on the Derby website: http://db.apache.org/derby/docs/10.10/
2) Additional papers and documentation are on the website: http://db.apache.org/derby/papers/index.html
3) There is a large Derby wiki: http://wiki.apache.org/db-derby/
4) The Derby distribution contains some samples and demo scripts.
Overall, the documentation is extensive and sophisticated; the Derby community has enjoyed the participation of several skilled technical writers over the years who have contributed superb documentation to the project.
But documentation, like everything else, needs maintenance and attention.
In this Google Summer of Code project, during the summer of 2014, the project will include (at least) the following:
1) We'll read through each of the manuals, wiki pages, and papers.
2) We'll look for typos, grammatical problems, or out-of-date and inaccurate material
3) (THIS IS IMPORTANT) For each place where there is an example or sample code, we'll test that sample code, by exercising it both on Windows and on Linux, using the latest Java runtimes and the latest Derby distribution, to verify that the samples are correct and accurate.
4) Each time we find a problem, we'll log it as an issue in the Derby issue tracker, prepare a patch to the documentation, and get that patch committed. If the problem is in the wiki, we'll edit and repair the wiki.
5) As we find opportunities for larger-scoped improvements to the documentation, we'll also file those as issues in the Derby issue tracker, so that they can be worked on as time permits.
6) We'll also review all the existing open documentation and demo/script issues in the tracker (there aren't very many), to verify that they are clear and complete, and to see if we can contribute fixes for any of them.