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.
- The Secret to My Success: Stimulants.
- My Favorite Python Libraries.
- On Polyamory.
- Competition and Open Source.
- A Good Hat.
- Dinner with a Narcissist.
- Working from Home — a Double-Edged Sword.
- Feeling Better & Reflecting on Open Source.
- I Do Lots of Things.
- Truest Love.
- Writing Reasonable Documentation.
- On Traveling and Depression.
- On Depression, Part I (of many).
- Pipe Dream: Making a Game.
- On Irritability in Open Source.
- On Psychedelics and Other Drugs.
- On Depression, Part II.
- On Conferences and Travel.
- iPad as a Main Computer.
- Why This isn't a Blog.
- A Concise List of Personal Values.
- Attempting to Reduce Stimulants Usage.
- The Far Side of Madness.
- Back to Work.
- New Project Idea: Environment Variables.
- Stuck in a Rut.
- Esoteric Interest and Current Bookshelf.
- Living With Reasonable Regrets.
- Positivity, Coming Soon™.
- The Anxiety of Clout.
- It's About Time....
- Soul Purpose.
- On Open Source and Impactfulness.
- On Inspiration and Tools (like languages).
- Three Concise Truths.
- Fellowship at PyCon (upcomming).
- Self Therapy or Professional & Amphetamines.
- Sharing is Therapeutic.
- Seeking Inspiration, Somewhere.
- First Entry.
- On Writing.
- Switching Cameras (again).
- On Writing Music and Emotional Landscape.
- Poetic Expressions.