AboutWelcome to Free Software Daily (FSD). FSD is a hub for news and articles by and for the free and open source community. FSD is a community driven site where members of the community submit and vote for the stories that they think are important and interesting to them. Click the "About" link to read more...
How the documentation is important to the GNU/Linux world? Why we need a documentation? Basically this is crucial point for any project. The documentation is something like a gate to the project, new users go through that gate to enter in the project and if that gate is broken the user could go in the wrong direction.
Some entertaining lguest documentation discussed in an earlier story was merged into the mainline kernel with the commit message, "the netfilter code had very good documentation: the Netfilter Hacking HOWTO. Noone ever read it. So this time I'm trying something different, using a bit of Knuthiness."
"Hey everybody. Now that Miro has reached the big 1.0, we need to make the documentation better for our users. That’s why I’m asking everybody to please, take a look at the documentation at http://getmiro.com/documentation and lend us a hand..."
The Internet and Google have made FOSS developers lazy because they have made it too easy to abdicate the job of proper documentation to "The community." Telling users and potential contributors to use Google, mailing lists, and forums is not documentation. It's a way to guarantee having fewer users, unhappy users, and fewer contributors.
For a lot of programmers, writing an application is fun, but writing its manual is not. Adding new features, refining the product, and responding to users' input are all more rewarding than writing instructions on how to use the software. However, good documentation is necessary to have happy, informed users who can contribute meaningfully to future development.
Over the last week I have read numerous articles bemoaning the sad state of Linux documentation, and I have to say - I am on board. Linux is an outstanding operating system. There is very little it can not do. The biggest problem (especially for the new user) is getting there.
If you ask what's missing from open source software, one of the top responses is often "documentation." While there's piles and piles of great code stuffed up on Google Code, SourceForge.net, and others, the actual documentation to accompany it is often lacking.
It has long since been my own personal experience that Linux documentation is largely ignored by Linux beginners in exchange for the interactivity of Linux forums. The reasons why will be further explored in this piece