We have what has been referred to as an “embarrassment of riches” in Eclipse Corner. We have a lot of articles that are either in development, or are ready for publishing. The problem is that we have a bit of a shortage of reviewers and editors. Perhaps one of the problems is that we do not formally recognise the role of reviewer and editor in the process. I’d like to fix that.
A reviewer needs to be an expert in the subject area of the article. Ideally, reviewers are Eclipse committers (but I don’t think that this is an absolute necessity). The reviewer’s job is to make sure that the content of the article is technically correct. Very often, an article crosses the boundaries between Eclipse projects and so more than one reviewer may be required (i.e. one for each project referenced by the article). When the author and reviewer are done iterating over the content, an editor steps in and puts the final touches on the article. An editor is familiar with the subject area, but need not necessarily be an expert in the field (frankly, it’s great when an editor learns something in the process of editing an article). Editors need to have decent English-language spelling and grammar skills.
Do you have what it takes to be a reviewer or editor? It’s easy to do, just take a look at the bugs open against “Articles” in Eclipse Bugzilla, find an article that interests you, add a comment to the effect of “I’d like to [review | edit] this article”, and then immerse yourself in the role.
While I do relish the prospect of formalizing the role of reviewer and editor, I don’t want to formalize the process too much. Read over what the author has written so far, and provide your feedback as comments via the bug system. If you have any questions about the process, or just want to get your opinions registered about this, please add them to Bug 243486.
To make things more interesting for you, reviewers and editors will now get swag as well. You’ll also get explicit credit for your efforts. And the gratitude of a community.