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From Mads Toftum <>
Subject Re: How to patch the docs
Date Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:08:30 GMT
On Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 03:11:20PM -0400, Rich Bowen wrote:
> I periodically give a presentation on documentation - how to make your
> docs not suck, how to work with users to solve their problems, how to
> make it easier for people to contribute to the docs.
Is this something that can be found online?

> I often give advice that we are not following in this docs project. Some
> of these are historical (I strongly encourage people to avoid formats
> like docbook that have a towering barrier to entry) but others are just
> laziness and lack of time. For example, implementing the comment system
> was something that I recommended, and Humbedooh implemented, but we're
> not leveraging to its full potential just because there are *thousands*
> of comments, and it takes time to get through them all.
Yeah, having a comment system and abandoning it is probably worse than
not having one. Is there a way to clean out "misplaced" comments and
stuff that's been incorporated in the docs?

> Anyways, I recently tried to contribute a docs patch to another Apache
> project, and ended up giving up in frustration, because I couldn't
> figure out how to do it, and didn't want to have to join a bunch of
> mailing lists just to fix a typo. In the process, I started wondering
> how hard it is to submit a patch to the httpd docs. If, say, I found a
> typo, what do I do?
I don't think we should do anything for other projects, but in our case
the comment system seems like a pretty darn obvious way. It doesn't
really get any easier than that.

> (Contrariwise, I was able to submit a patch to the Mesos docs with very
> little work, because they not only made it obvious where to do it, but
> were also polite and helpful when I did it wrong the first time.)
Our page could probably do with a bit of an update, but now that I look
at it I don't think it's too horrible. There's pretty much all you need
to know.

> Something that I recommend in my presentation is simple - tell me in the
> doc how to edit/patch the doc. For example, on my work website -
> - you'll see an "edit on github" banner on every
> page. Simple and easy.
A page source link pointing to the relevant file in svn? I suppose you
could do that.

> For our docs, I'd like to have something on each page of the docs that
> indicates how one might patch the docs. This could simply be a link to
> or it could be a link to the
> ticketing system. Patching our docs is, unfortunately, rather more
> complicated than just a link to Github, but any barrier that we can
> remove would be good.
Given the commenting system, I don't know how badly we need to add more
links. If anything, I'd much rather have it go to than to bugzilla.

> Any objections to my making a change to that effect to the docs build
> template?
See above :)


Mads Toftum

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