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Announcing a New PnP Repository for the Rest of Us: sp-usage-docs

Announcing a New PnP Repository for the Rest of Us: sp-usage-docs

by: Marc Anderson 29 May 2019

For quite a while now, Tom Resing (@resing) at Microsoft and I have talked about the current SharePoint documentation and the various audiences it serves. That documentation has improved vastly over the last few years, as it has become more community-driven and the writers at Microsoft have become more and more agile in what they produce. But there has always seemed to be a gap in my mind. There is voluminous content for developers, end users, and admins, but not a lot for site owners and citizen developers. In conversations with Vesa Juvonen (@vesajuvonen), we decided there should be an additional PnP-based effort to start creating content to fill this gap.

To this end, we have a new Github repo called sp-usage-docs: “SharePoint Documentation on usage and feature patterns for site owners and citizen developers”. The idea is this will start as a Github repo, and if – as a community - we succeed in creating useful content, it may become a tile on the SharePoint documentation page (like sp-dev-docs feeds a tile there). I believe we can get there, but I also feel like we should earn our way there.

We’ll see how this effort evolves, but off the top of my head, it may contain:

  • Documentation
  • Quick how-tos
  • Help to make decisions
  • Video instruction

If you are an information architect, business analyst, "maker" (aka citizen developer), or site owner who wants to use the platform better (especially if you’ve historically turned to blogs and other sources for information) - this repository exists for YOU. As I said above, there are lots of other resources for developers, so that isn't our target audience. We may include some code samples or snippets of code in the context of getting something done, but for the most part, any code in this repository will exist to help facilitate conversations between the folks listed above and the developers with whom they work.

If you take a look today, you’ll see a repo with basically nothing in it. As time goes by, if you are looking for documentation or guidance about something which you feel fits this mold but are coming up short, here are some things you can do by raising an Issue in the Issues list in the repo:

  • Explain what you need and why but be realistic about the timeframes in which you may see a result. This is an open source effort and we all have day jobs.
  • Suggest an article or set of articles you've seen in blogs or other electronic formats which you think start(s) to get at the issue and might make a good addition. If you know the people who wrote the content and can suggest they contribute, even better.
  • Write something to fill the gap. Whether it's a germ of an explanation or a full-fledged article, whatever you write can add value to the repository.

While we want the content in this repository to be extremely useful, it doesn't need to be dry and flavorless. We want to characterize the feel and joy of getting things done well in addition to the mechanics. Specific examples or analogies can be very useful to make this happen.

As with so many of the things which make this community great, this will be a collective effort. No one person or small group of people can accomplish as much as we all can together. Think about how you might be able to contribute or assist in the repository and its success: that success should mean success for all of us. I look forward to seeing what sp-usage-docs becomes.

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