This idea isn't mine; it's something that, to the best of my ability, surfaced from a conversation between Addi Berry and Emma Jane Hogbin at Ontario LinuxFest in October 2009. But it's kept cropping up in my mind, itching for someone to do something with it...

What if someone wrote a travel guide for an open source project? Imagine a guide  - say, The Wandering Hacker's Guide to Fedora (or sub in any open source project of your choice) - with a table of contents that looked like this (loosely based on Wikitravel Thailand):

1. Understanding Fedora

  • History of Fedora
  • The Peoples of Fedora
  • Governance: FESCo, FAmSCo, and the Board
  • Culture - hot dogs, pandas, and the four foundations
  • Calendar - major release milestones

2. Regions of Fedora

  • Teams
  • Geographic regions
  • SIGs
  • Important pages and mailing lists
  • Key conferences and in-person gatherings (FUDCons, FADs)

3. Getting Started

  • As a user: installing Fedora
  • As a tinkerer: learning tips and tweaks and helping with basic support
  • As an ambassador: doing outreach for Fedora
  • As an upstream developer: making your project work with Fedora
  • As a member of a Fedora team: joining Infrastructure, Marketing, Design, QA, etc.

4. Getting Around

  • Making your accounts
  • Common communication media (lists, wiki, IRC,, etc)
  • Finding information about people
  • Finding information about packages
  • Finding information about processes
  • IRC meeting etiquette

5. Things to see and do

  • Host a release party
  • Vote in elections
  • Join a Test Day
  • Attend FUDCon and FADs
  • Try an Alpha release

6. Studying and working in Fedora

  • Incorporating Fedora into class assignments
  • Fedora spins for various disciplines (security, design, etc.)
  • Fedora for RHEL/CentOS sysadmins
  • Using Fedora at work
  • Companies that hire people to work on Fedora

7. Staying polite and safe

  • Etiquette
  • The basics of keeping your Fedora installation secure
  • What to do if you meet a jerk
  • Gender, race, age, minority, etc. issues
  • Ways to show respect
  • Dress and conduct at in-person events
  • Don't get offended if...
  • How to give constructive feedback and get it implemented

Would this be useful to you? To your students? Would it have been useful to you when you started? What's missing? How could we get this written?

If anyone wants to take this on as a project, I'd be willing to mentor - it's a good opportunity to learn about writing, open source culture, and possibly even a bit of instructional design (which I'm not an expert in - we'd find someone to look at it when you have a draft).