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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 Tuesday June 06 2017, @09:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06 2017, @09:23AM (#521237)

    Go onto any Windows computer and press F1 at almost any time. That's their documentation.

    For most Microsoft software it sucks. It used to be that hitting F1 would take you to the specific paragraph that explained whatever window you are currently in. Nowadays, if you're lucky, you'll get the main index.

    If you are not lucky, you'll get something called "navigating help".

    Visual Studio is the exception. Pressing F1 on any system class, property of method 98% of the time goes straight to the MSDN page for that class/property/method. And most of them actually do explain what it does, though some unfortunately only contains the same words that were combined to give the class/property/method name.