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From Edward Capriolo <edlinuxg...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Notes from the last Hive Contributors Meeting
Date Thu, 15 Jul 2010 14:30:41 GMT
On Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 5:15 AM, Carl Steinbach <carl@cloudera.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Notes from the last Hive Contributors Meeting are now available on the
> wiki: http://wiki.apache.org/hadoop/HiveContributorsMinutes100706
>
> Thanks.
>
> Carl
>

Sorry I did not get to listen to the event. So one topic of interest for me is:

"Several people voiced concerns that developers/users are less likely
to update the documentation if doing so requires them to submit a
patch."

I think this is a valid concern, however I want to point out a few
bigger picture things.  First, I want to point out what I think is a
great shining of documentation.

http://hornetq.sourceforge.net/docs/hornetq-2.1.1.Final/user-manual/en/html/index.html

hbase does a nice job as well.
http://hbase.apache.org/docs/r0.20.5/metrics.html

While I think the hive documentation on the wiki is better then most
wiki's, it has some issues. Here is an example. I am running hive5.

So a user is running hive and reads the wiki, and says "Wow we have
view support, let me try this" This fails because views are only in
trunk. This gives people a general bad impression about hive because
they expect trunk features, because they have no authoritative
documentation on THEIR VERSION. Users can be fickle and if they hit
incorrect documentation they start to get the impression the software
is "buggy" suddenly they start questioning everything and bringing
every problem to the hive administrator because even though they wrote
a query wrong their first instinct is to "blame hive".

I find editing xdocs EASIER then working with wiki. Wiki is great and
all but in my travels I have to work on 5 different wiki's they all
are slightly different in what they support and their mark up. We
should be able to commit xdoc patches without full unit tests. Keeping
the xdoc up to date should not be an issue because we should simply
not accept a patch that changes/adds functionality without some xdoc.

Another issue right now is there are features that are NOT documented
anywhere. When a user asks about those features I have to send them to
Jira tickets, often times the ticket will have a long back and forth
where the feature is debated, or sometimes just a patch, you never see
the full syntax, it can be very confusing,I often end up telling them
to dig through a .q file inside a patch to figure out what this
feature is and how to use it. While most people are good about
updating the wiki we know that things tend to fall though the cracks.

I think there is still a place for wiki, free form, multi-person
planning, etc but I do not think a mature software product can every
have authoritative documentation in a wiki.

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