Write-only documentation

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Write-only documentation (WOD) is a tongue-in-cheek term for documentation that is written to satisfy a process but never read subsequent to its writing.

Derogatory term[edit]

While write-only documentation may have begun as a derogatory term assigned by technical writers/programmers to documentation that had no other use than to be a required text to meet contractual obligations, the term is in use as a general term for documentation that is seen to be a waste of effort.[1]

Passing comments[edit]

Most online references to write-only documentation are made in passing when explaining or writing about some other subject. For example, the term is used in passing when building the case for "write-only memory" which was a famous April Fool's Day joke,[2] in discussing a community project,[3] when discussing accountability in running software building projects,[1] and referring to a project as potential to degenerate into write-only documentation.[4]

Overall use of the term in language[edit]

While the term "write-only documentation" has been in use for several years (it can be determined that it was in use in 1995),[5] it is unclear as to where it started to gain traction and what led to its general use in software projects/documentation projects.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]