Hopefully none of the devs write-up documentation for the features they write in!
1. It's a different skill-set. We, well i, would prefer to see devs able to fly through coding
and keep on going rather than worrying that if they do the code then they have chores to do
afterwards as punishment. Ok, so some devs are superb at both.
2. Translating from pure geek into something comprehensible takes a lot of effort which could
probably be best spent exploring the new feature and seeing if it really works for a
3. "mere users" are often superb at documentation, especially people that are new to the project.
The aim of documentation is to write for new people, or people that are new to the aspect they are
reading-up about. Who understands them better than other new people that have just managed to
battle their way through whatever the chapter is about. It would be a huge help to have new people
proof-read chapters before they get published to the wiki or at least before they get added to the
official LO website. Usually one person writes, then another proof-reads (bit of a
simplification). Unfortunately such people quickly become quite skilled because they learn a lot
quite fast so we constantly need other newer people to join the docs team.
Dan is a total star and does a lot of work in a lot of lists and his work on the first 2 chapters
of the Base Guide inspired other people to get on with translating the Base part of the Faq and
that led to a lot of interesting discussions on the user list. A couple of people from the user
list then seemed interested in getting involved as devs to build-up Base a bit. It's the first
time i have heard of documentation being a driving force in an OpenSource project!
Sorry about the generalisation about the in-built help. It is good and useful because it's so easy
to access but the chap already had that bit and i wanted to point out another better way of getting
help. Sometimes something is so close to be perfect but there are just not enough resources to put
the icing on the cake and that leads to a lot of frustration and angst. If it was really horrible
then people wouldn't care so much and they would just avoid it.
--- On Fri, 4/5/12, Alexander Thurgood <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
But OTOH, built-in Help is *very* helpful in certain situations IMHO. So, if
one is looking for the exact syntax of a regex or if one wants to learn about
how to use a calc function, it is first choice.
I would agree with you there, but still I regret the days of the more
detailed built-in help content that used to be present in StarOffice and
OpenOffice.org 1.x. It was at least generally more useful than the
current laconic style.
Agreed, but how many of the developers actually write up the new
features they put in, with an explanation of how to use them ? In my
experience they don't (on the whole) and they certainly don't write the
help files. And yes, I've seen the odd developer wiki page here and
there, but that is no substitute for a competent help entry.
It is, in fact, dependent on "mere users"
from what Dan Lewis has had to go through with
preparing the Base Guide, it would appear that many of the entries one
would expect a built-in help to have, were simply not there. In that
case, the Base Guide will virtually be a drop in replacement for the
Generalizations like "the help is bad, rather look into User Guides" are less
Agreed, unless true, if a user can't find what they are looking for
after a search in the built-in help, then where do they turn to ? The
documentation list and guides maintained by the users.
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