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Re: Next #d-women forum; topics anyone?

On Mon, Dec 27, 2004 at 07:20:18PM -0500, Erinn Clark wrote:
> * Helen Faulkner <helen_ml_faulkner@yahoo.co.uk> [2004:12:27 13:14 +0000]: 
> > One thing that interests me is the possibility of setting up a project to 
> > improve the the ease of finding relevant documentation in Debian.  I often 
> > have trouble finding the thing I want to know about, even though I know the 
> > documentation is there somewhere.   I wonder whether the Debian Women 
> > project could think of ways to make it easier to locate the right 
> > documentation, and whether it would help many of us if we did...
> Basically what needs to happen with those is that they need to be dumped in
> a big pile and have a lot of people go through and pick out the good bits
> and reorganize them. I imagine this is no small task due to the breadth of
> the docs in consideration. 

The problem with docs is twofold as I see it:

 1) Debian simply can't handle totally centralized documentation. The Debian
    FAQ/Reference is the best attempt at this, and imho it doesn't work because
	Debian is simply too huge. So people take the same approach to writing docs
	as they do to making packages - it's largely decentralized.

 2) This decentralization, which seems to be intuitive for software does not    
    work so well for documentation. No one has figured out a way to keep the
	decentralization from being too disorganized.

So given these two problems, that centralization is impossible and
decentralization is chaotic, it seems like the solution is to create a really
well-ordered system that provides a balance. A sort of policy for
documentation as a whole, the same way Debian's Policy defines the balance for
packages. I've got some ideas on how to do this that I'll be happy to talk
about in the meeting, but I hope this mail gave some people some good ideas :-)

 - David Nusinow

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