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[chox] "The Documentation Stinks"

Sehr interessanter Aufsatz in dem für eine neue Wikikultur in der FOSS
Community argumentiert wird. Überall sind sich doch die Probleme zur Zeit
ziemlich gleich.....


ich habe die wichtigsten Passagen aus dem Artikel ausgeschnippselt:

"There are interdependent effects between the hardware and software. And
then there are the dependencies, which may have dependencies that also
have dependencies. We have the hard-working FOSS developers to thank for
this abundance of choice. But it makes putting together a system more
complicated every year.

Finding answers to all of the questions this situation poses is becoming
more and more difficult. It is not because the answers are not there, we
have plenty of people who are willing and able to help. Instead, the
growth and commercialization of Linux and FOSS applications has had a
subtle effect on the ability of the community to support its members. It
is not differences between distributions raising the specter of forking.
It is not the GUIfication of interfaces. It is not even proprietary code.
The problem is that as the complexity of the system has increased, the
information on how to manage that complexity has not kept pace. To put it
bluntly: the documentation stinks.

This is not to say that documentation from proprietary sources is any
better. Those manuals mostly explain the obvious and their troubleshooting
sections blame the user for nearly all problems. But I am not the only one
who is frustrated by the situation.

I believe that this is final barrier to widespread adoption of Linux. I
really don't care about Aunt Tilly or Joe Sixpack. The newbies I would
like to see are the somewhat technical users with zero Linux/UNIX
background who are still intimidated by the learning curve. If this issue
is eliminated, then more of them will be interested in trying out FOSS
applications like Firefox and OpenOffice.org on Linux....."

"Almost all of the information needed to install and maintain Linux and
FOSS applications is available, it is just poorly organized. If the
community is to maintain control of Linux and FOSS applications, we must
ensure that the necessary information is openly available in Living
HOWTOs. I am not arrogant enough to expect developers to do it for us or
naive enough to expect somebody else to do it. The truth is, we in the
Linux and FOSS user community have talked the talk, but we have not walked
the walk when it comes to contributing back to documentation. We owe the
FOSS developers the best documentation on the planet, and we can create it
by working together more intelligently."

"We need to admit that forums are our enemy."

"I'm not putting down the folks at the LDP. They are doing their job which
is not to write HOWTOs, but to maintain them. I just wish all the ones I
need were there and up to date (and no, I am not going to write a dozen
HOWTOs about subjects I know only a little about). The community needs
living HOWTOs. The way to do accomplish this in a truly open way is with
Wiki. Have you seen wikipedia lately? Starting from essentially nothing,
it has grown to rival the best of commercial encyclopedias. This is not a
new idea within the Linux and FOSS community, either. There are some Linux
Wiki sites with basic information and a few projects are starting to use
it. The information is fairly thin, which emphasizes the need for broad
support from the community."

"We must focus on a central Wiki with links to FOSS project Wikis where
they exist. If there are dozens of Linux Wikis competing with each other,
then none will cover topics completely, and the situation will not be much
better than it is now."

"To endure over the long term, the Linux HOWTO Wiki will have to be hosted
by a neutral party with the resources to help maintain it. I thought of
several, but narrowed it to 3 candidates....."


[English translation]
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