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posted by n1 on Monday June 05 2017, @10:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the git-gud dept.

The Open Source Survey asked a broad array of questions. One that caught my eye was about problems people encounter when working with, or contributing to, open source projects. An incredible 93 percent of people reported being frustrated with “incomplete or confusing documentation”.

That’s hardly a surprise. There are a lot of projects on Github with the sparsest of descriptions, and scant instruction on how to use them. If you aren’t clever enough to figure it out for yourself, tough.

[...] According to the Github Open Source Survey, 60 percent of contributors rarely or never contribute to documentation. And that’s fine.

Documenting software is extremely difficult. People go to university to learn to become technical writers, spending thousands of dollars, and several years of their life. It’s not really reasonable to expect every developer to know how to do it, and do it well.

2017 Open Source Survey

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 05 2017, @04:27PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 05 2017, @04:27PM (#520830)

    I know I‘m being pedantic, but I disagree with the last comment that working code is secondary. Executimg code is primary. Although I totally agree with you otherwise. And I don't think this makes writing understandable code secondary either. I would argue that part of executing code is fixing/maintaining that code which includes making it easy to understand.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday June 05 2017, @05:25PM

    by DannyB (5839) on Monday June 05 2017, @05:25PM (#520856) Journal

    You misunderstand to say working code is secondary. Working is the number one goal. If it doesn't work. Then there is no point. But the compiler processing your code is secondary to a human being able to comprehend it. The compiler doesn't count. Of course it has to work. But if it works and nobody can maintain it, then it also fails on an important level.

    Reminder: March is National Procrastination Week.