Re: Nine Months in Six Months

On 9/8/06, Don Scorgie <DonScorgie blueyonder co uk> wrote:
Doc people do not have enough time.  Its as simple as that.  As shaunm
pointed out, this release we got 4 weeks to update the documentation.
This included 3 new modules needing docs, as well as lots of updates to
lots of other docs.  The doc team has been on skeleton staff ever since
I've known it.  Most of the docs are now pretty out of date.  Add in a
desire to have translated docs and basically, the doc team has negative
time to do the required work.  The great part about it is that for the
other 5 months, the doc team is pretty much sitting around, twiddling
thumbs and thinking up plans for world domination [1].  The writers
can't really do their thing with a moving target.

Then lets stop the target! If I understand you correctly, the
development process from the documentors point of view is kind of like

* Five months were developers play and pretty much destroy all the docs we make.
* Four weeks were we can undo the damage caused and make GNOME understandable.

Maybe this problem can be solved by elevating the documentations and
the translations status in the project? For example, patches are very
seldom accepted if they introduce regressions in the software. But
regressions in the docs aren't counted in the same way. New code very
often changes applications behaviour so that the manual becomes
invalid. What if the documentation and translation regressions were
counted in the same way as code regressions?

To me, that makes sense. An untranslated string is just as annoying as
a frequently segfaulting program. So lets treat the problems the same.
Code that changes behaviour shouldn't be committed unless the
documentation is updated. User visible strings shouldn't be changed
unless the translations are updated. Something like that?

mvh Björn

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