Open Source Documentation

One of the more frustrating things about open source software is the fact that many projects have little-to-no documentation.  William Shields, a software developer from Australia, posts about his experiences and concludes that he isn’t going to patronize projects that don’t pay attention to their documentation.

He is correct.  Any mature software project, whether open-source or proprietary, should have resources available to provide information, specifications, options, and assistance to users.  This doesn’t mean that every piece of software needs a manual and a call desk; there should be options available to provide assistance.

For a smaller, lesser-used product, a brief overview and contact information for further questions may suffice.  As the user base grows, group maintained resources (wiki, lists, forums) can allow those with more experience aid novices.

The ultimate goal with any software is for people to use it, and use it effectively to improve their lives.  Good information on using the software is part of that picture.  When you find an open source project that needs documentation, consider how you might be able to add your knowledge and experience to the project (i.e. when life hands you lemons, make lemonade).

found via What I Learned Today…

This entry was posted in Groups, Open Source, Software, Training, Tutorials, Wiki and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.