This year’s publication of The Responsible Communication Style Guide was an amazing start towards having better tools for writing about identity in technology.
But we’re not nearly done.
We set a fairly narrow scope for the first edition of the style guide, knowing that we couldn’t possibly cover everything we wanted to and still put a resource into your hands in a timely fashion. So we made plenty of notes on topics we still needed to cover and started thinking about how we could iterate on the first edition of The Responsible Communication Style Guide.
As a result, we’re pleased to announce our first style guide supplements: The RCSG Supplement on Age and The RCSG Supplement on Python.
Why these two topics? Age, as a facet of identity, matters in technology more than we may notice. From legal constraints on websites targeting children under the age of 13, to jokes about technology ‘so easy your parent can use it’, we need to talk about age in a responsible manner. We’d originally considered including more content on age in the first edition, but we discovered that we needed a separate section to properly present this information.
Our supplement on age will follow the approach we laid out in The Responsible Communication Style Guide. To do an addition for a specific language community, like our Python supplement, is a little more of a leap. Looking at how we write about specific communities, however, directly improves our ability to make those communities accessible and inclusive. We’re starting with Python because my personal experience is with Python and making sense of the community requires a certain amount of cultural knowledge. I already have a long list of things I’ve found difficult to write about in the Python community:
- How to explain the Monty Python references to someone who doesn’t have time to watch 45 television episodes, five movies, and a bunch of other media
- The pronunciation and capitalization of Python tools — I’m looking at you, PyQt.
- Enough facts about nonvenomous snakes to make clever puns in my articles.
None of these issues prevents anyone from writing code in Python, but they do make the process of creating articles, tutorials, and documentation harder than it needs to be, and sometimes get in the way of understanding someone else’s code or docs.
If you’d like to be the first to have access to these important supplements, join in backing The Recompiler Year 3 Kickstarter and choose the “Community Builder” reward. All backers who choose this option will receive each supplement as soon as it’s ready to ship.
Keep tuned for an introduction to our supplement editors, as well as calls for contributors for these supplements.