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Re: How fresh is the documentation?

On Tue, Aug 09, 2005 at 07:41:57PM +0200, Paolo Pantaleo wrote:
> I noticed that a lot fo Debian documentation is quite old, or at least
> they do exist solutions to some problems that are newer (and easyer)
> than the ones that are reported in Debiabn documentation.
> I think that could be a nice thing to report the date of writing (or
> modification) of each piece of documentation, so one can figure out
> how is fresh the documentation he found.

Yes, we should add a "last updated" flag in the web pages since the
date footers of the document are (most of the time) not valid.
For the time being, however, you can use the footers and copyright
statements to get a first impression.

For example, if you review the FAQ's first page [1] you can see it's 
probably not very up-to-date (earlier date is 2003), whileas if you
check out the Debian reference [2] you can see that it's more
up to date (earlier date is 2005). 

Notice, however, that the date in the footer is not set by the
maintainer, it's generated when the manual is compiled. Which means
that if a maintainer just touches a file (small typo fix) today,
all the document will look like it's fresh new (when it's not).

Some documents (like the Debian Security Manual) have a changelog
(like [3]) that might be useful in determining how up to date it is.
It's not standard practice, however.

As a last resort, you have the CVS logs [4], you can easily see there
if the contents have been changed recently or not. For example, you
can see that I made some changes to some sections of the FAQ two months

We certainly have to sort all that information and provide it
in a single, easy to find, place. 

If you have the time to provide some aproximate dates for the current
documents in the DDP I can make the web changes to provide that information
in the manuals pages.



[1] http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-faq/index.en.html
[2] http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/reference/reference.en.html
[4] http://cvs.debian.org/ddp/manuals.sgml/?cvsroot=debian-doc

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