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Re: (Off Topic ) Open Source: The Model Is Broken ??

Ed Greshko wrote:

1) be ABLE to write good documentation. You yourself acknowledged
   good "documenters" are scarce. You're either good at it or you
   aren't, it's just like programming or any other complex creative
   activity. This is the biggest obstacle, or at least the first thing
that makes the "write it yourself or shut up" useless (at least).
Actually, my motives where much more subtle (sinister).
I tend to feel that some those wanting more/better documentation don't
quite realize how difficult producing quality documentation for the
masses truly is.   So, it is more of "try doing it and maybe you'll gain
some appreciation for the difficulty".

How does understanding the difficultly help? And other than the interactive desktop programs like the office tools, why should 'masses' need to know all the details?

2) have enough free time, after you've paid mortgage, food and bills,
   to start and finish writing a manual. Unless you're _paid_ just to
   write that documentation, of course. Even if you're good, it takes
   a lot of time and effort to do a good job.

Which is why there may be a niche market for some company involved
"support" to include documentation.  But, that would require a business
plan and a business model....  :-(

There is a well known book publisher covering technical topics with a bazillion titles, but published books can't keep up with the rate of change in fedora. What we need is a way to eliminate most of the need for local configuration in the same way open source eliminates most of the need for local programming for common tasks. That is, have a way that a configuration that someone has expertly tuned for a particular purpose can be shared with anyone who needs to do the same kind of work. Fedora mostly just ships one config file for every program and might do a little tweaking to match hardware and user choices during installation. If there were perhaps a hundred choices instead, pre-tuned to different usage models, the end user would only need to know what he wanted to accomplish, not the million variables he had to change to do it.

  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com

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