Re: Keeping user docs up-to-date with applications

On Thu, 30 Mar 2006, Shaun McCance wrote:

> On Fri, 2006-03-31 at 00:06 +0400, Nickolay V. Shmyrev wrote:

> > > On Thu, 2006-03-30 at 16:34 +0100, Andrew Sobala wrote:

> > > > Sergej Kotliar wrote:

> > > > >> On Fri, 2006-03-24 at 21:15 +0100, Vincent Untz wrote:

> > > > >>> Le vendredi 24 mars 2006 à 16:20 +0300, Nickolay V. Shmyrev a écrit :
> > > > >>>
> > > > >>>> While looking on discussion of removed screensaver button and
> > > > >>>> work work on GNOME docs translation, one interesting idea
> > > > >>>> came to my mind.

> > > > >>>> Usually UI changes are accepted without change in user
> > > > >>>> documentation thus making docs obsolete (for example, user
> > > > >>>> docs still mention

> [trimming]

Thank you.  Please do trim messages, it really helps keep things readable.

> > Let me disagree with Vincent's point that maintainer isn't able to
> > update user docs. Usually they contains just a set of phrases like:
> >
> > To print document choose Menu->Print

Not the best example (as Shaun explained) but at least for smaller changes
it would be fair to say if a developer changed menu item Foo->Bar and
moved Foo->Baz it would not be unreasonable to expect them to check the
documentation and make that small change in the documentation too to keep

> > That's all, we write API docs, why can't programmer write two lines like
> > above? Moreover there is quite advanced documentation guide. The main

> > question here to my opinion is a bit different - how to make this
> > practice more mandatory.

Hopefully maintainers will take this discussion as a request and will
try to help encourage people to document their changes as they go along,
especially the smaller more managedable changes.

For example:
New games for Ailseriot Solitaire tend to be added to gnome games only
when suitable documentation is supplied, which is relatively easy because
the games are variations on a theme and existing documentation can be
recycled so only a paragraph or two needs to be written.
Small changes I made to the button layout in gnome-cd were followed by an
update to the documentation (unfortunately I failed to change the

Putting together a decent patch can be time consuming enough so while I
appreciate the push to document what I had done I would not like to go too
far and have reasonable changes be blocked and left to bit rot just
because everything wasn't perfect.  Balance is important.


Alan Horkan

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