Talk:Software documentation

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User Docs Old Hat[edit]

User documentation for software, especially complex software, is a thing of the past. Big, money-making software publishers believe GUIs have eliminated the need for good user documentation, because the point-and-click paradigm is so simple, so self-explanatory, a child could use it. Of course, this is a rationalization that, in a way, justifies not spending a dime on explaining how their highly profitable products may be used, since people can "discover" what they need to know by fooling around. Alternatively, context-sensitive help may be perceived as a substitute for use case by usage scenario coverage of every feature. The people in the best position to publish effective user documentation (because they understand the motivations and the details) don't do it. So technical publishers hire technical writers who take a stab at the task and fail as often as they succeed to fill the gap. Such a shame!--72.75.76.186 02:49, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

In the Electronic Design Automation software industry, good documentation is necessary. It is printed documentation that is no longer produced. There isn't a culture where the vendor expects to sell you several, (tens-of), thousands of dollars worth of software license then expects you to buy a book to learn all the really useful stuff about how to use the software - There are no 'Clock-insertion for dummies' books. --Paddy 04:14, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

section: Architecture/Design Documentation[edit]

Should clarify what IS means in "outline what the IS situation is". --AlastairIrvine 03:24, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Merging with HOWTO[edit]

This is silly. Software documentation is a broad concept that covers many many things. A Linux HOWTO is a specific instance of software documentation. Merging HOWTO into Software Documentation would be like merging Apple into Fruit. 66.80.155.65 (talk) 18:37, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Against. As stated above software documentation is a broad topic and HOWTO is discretely different Paullb (talk) 08:09, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Against. The topics, as in their generality, are different. Software documentation is a broad topic entirely focused on software, of which software HOWTO is a particular type. HOWTOs are manuals / instruction procedures and in their generality can be referred to anything, software included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 210.254.37.34 (talk) 05:21, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Bad reference?[edit]

I can't find anything leading to the following statement in the reference provided. How about a page number or a link to the actual page?

"Tutorial: A tutorial approach is considered the most useful for a new user, in which they are guided through each step of accomplishing particular tasks [1]." ^ 1. Woelz, Carlos. "The KDE Documentation Primer". http://i18n.kde.org/docs/doc-primer/index.html. Retrieved 15 June 2009. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.27.207.197 (talk) 17:13, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

The main problem now is not bad references, but no references. I think part of the problem with many articles relating to technical communication and documentation is that we as subject matter experts take what we do for granted, using these genres without studying or explaining them. A layperson viewing this entry will have no idea of the significance of this subject. I think the main goal right now should be to find academic sources simply explaining what software documentation is and using those sources to support the already existing content in the article. MezzoMezzo (talk) 12:31, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Marketing documentation[edit]

Why is that section even in this article? Marketing software and documentation for software are two different things. I would suggest merging the section into another article, but given the fact that it's unsourced, I suggest that it simply be deleted; it has no relation to the topic. MezzoMezzo (talk) 09:42, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

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Theory vs Practice[edit]

I think the current article is great. It explains all the theory about software documentation. The article explain how things should be. Nice :-)

If I look at the READMEs at github, I see a big mistake which gets done over and over again. Developers start with "installing", then the next topic is "configuration".

What is missing? The **introduction**. Most READMEs at github don't provide an overview what the software is all about. They don't explain

Most developers (inclusive me) are bad in writings docs.

I would like to have section about this topic:

 - Docs get outdated soon. That's why a lot of developers don't use comments any more: Code should be readable on its own.
 - Details get documented, but high level view gets neglected.

Ask yourself: What comes to your mind if you thing at "software documentation".

In my head its "absent" "no docs".

I am not a native speaker, and that's why I don't have the courage to create a new section.

I am open for discussions, you can reach me at guettliml@thomas-guettler.de — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guettli (talkcontribs) 09:12, 2 December 2016 (UTC)