Writing Reasonable Documentation
I find it strange that most people seem to be rather horrible at writing documentation. While this is simply a subjective opinion of mine (who am I to say that I am any better than they), it is one that many of my colleagues share.
Writing documentation, once you're in the mood for it, is quite easy. You simply explain how to understand/use a piece of software in a concise, mildly entertaining fashion.
- Don't explain everything - leave some mystery.
- Explain what needs to be explained, and get on with it.
- Show some examples.
- Expect people to skip over most large blocks of text, so avoid them entirely.
Ideally, the software does a good job of explaining itself. If not, you may want to consider a new approach to your design (or accept the complications of your codebase's territory).
That's the best advice I can give to anyone trying to write better documentation (if they consider mine to be of any merit, that is).
Thoughts & Musings: a (Public) Journal
A collection of hand-written essays by Kenneth Reitz.
- My Last Manic Episode.
- Competition and Open Source.
- The Secret to My Success: Stimulants.
- My Favorite Python Libraries.
- On Polyamory.
- A Good Hat.
- Working from Home — a Double-Edged Sword.
- Dinner with a Narcissist.
- Writing Reasonable Documentation.
- On Conferences and Travel.
- On Traveling and Depression.
- The Far Side of Madness.
- On Depression, Part I (of many).
- Pipe Dream: Making a Game.
- A Concise List of Personal Values.
- On Depression, Part II.
- On Psychedelics and Other Drugs.
- Why This isn't a Blog.
- On Inspiration and Tools (like languages).
- It's About Time....
- Stuck in a Rut.
- The Anxiety of Clout.
- On Open Source and Impactfulness.
- Living With Reasonable Regrets.
- New Project Idea: Environment Variables.
- Positivity, Coming Soon™.
- First Entry.
- Fellowship at PyCon (upcomming).
- Seeking Inspiration, Somewhere.
- Sharing is Therapeutic.
- On Writing Music and Emotional Landscape.
- I Love Typography.