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Formulating Elixir

By Simon St. Laurent
March 28, 2014

I was delighted to sit down with Jose Valim, the creator of Elixir, earlier this month. He and Dave Thomas had just given a brave keynote exploring the barriers that keep people from taking advantage of Erlang’s many superpowers, challenging …

The art of commenting

By Brian MacDonald
February 7, 2014

Ask any developer what programming task they enjoy least, and odds are you’ll hear “documentation” as an answer. After all, you came here to write code, didn’t you? Who wants to write boring text about the code? In fact, documentation …

Documentation as Testing

By Simon St. Laurent
October 30, 2013

“If you’re explaining, you’re losing.” That gem of political wisdom has always been hard for me to take, as, after all, I make my living at explaining technology. I don’t feel like I’m losing. And yet… It rings true. It’s …

Will Developers Move to Sputnik?

By Meghan Blanchette
August 22, 2013

Barton George (@barton808) is the Director of Development Programs at Dell, and the lead on Project Sputnik—Dell’s Ubuntu-based developer laptop (and its accompanying software). He sat down with me at OSCON to talk about what’s happened in the past year …

Learning Paths for JavaScript

By Simon St. Laurent
April 9, 2013

Everyone learns and teaches JavaScript their own way, but Cody Lindley (@codylindley) has spent a lot of time with a lot of different kinds of learners. He made the jQuery Cookbook happen, finding and managing contributors as well as making …

Promoting and documenting a small software project: VoIP Drupal update

By Andy Oram
April 6, 2012

Part of a series about efforts by VoIP Drupal collaborators to find the right media and tools with which to promote a small, little known software project.

Promoting and documenting a small software project: VoIP Drupal update

By Andy Oram
April 6, 2012

Part of a series about efforts by VoIP Drupal collaborators to find the right media and tools with which to promote a small, little known software project.

Documentation strategy for a small software project: launching VoIP Drupal introductions

By Andy Oram
February 17, 2012

VoIP Drupal is a window onto the promises and challenges faced by a new open source project, including its documentation. A meeting at at MIT this week worked out some long-term plans for firming up VoIP Drupal's documentation and other training materials.

Documentation strategy for a small software project: launching VoIP Drupal introductions

By Andy Oram
February 17, 2012

VoIP Drupal is a window onto the promises and challenges faced by a new open source project, including its documentation. A meeting at at MIT this week worked out some long-term plans for firming up VoIP Drupal's documentation and other training materials.

Wrap-up from FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google

By Andy Oram
October 21, 2011

Mixtures of grassroots content generation and unique expertise have existed, and more models will be found. Understanding the points of commonality between the systems will help us develop such models.

Wrap-up from FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google

By Andy Oram
October 21, 2011

Mixtures of grassroots content generation and unique expertise have existed, and more models will be found. Understanding the points of commonality between the systems will help us develop such models.

FLOSS Manuals books published after three-day sprint

By Andy Oram
October 21, 2011

Joining the pilgrimage that all institutions are making toward wider data use, FLOSS Manuals is exposing more and more of the writing process.

FLOSS Manuals books published after three-day sprint

By Andy Oram
October 21, 2011

Joining the pilgrimage that all institutions are making toward wider data use, FLOSS Manuals is exposing more and more of the writing process.

Day two of FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 20, 2011

As a relatively conventional book, the KDE manual was probably a little easier to write (but also probably less fun) than the more high-level approaches taken by some other teams that were trying to demonstrate to potential customers that their projects were worth adopting.

Day two of FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 20, 2011

As a relatively conventional book, the KDE manual was probably a little easier to write (but also probably less fun) than the more high-level approaches taken by some other teams that were trying to demonstrate to potential customers that their projects were worth adopting.

Day one of FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 19, 2011

Four teams at Google launched into endeavors that will lead, less than 72 hours from now, to complete books on four open source projects.

Day one of FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 19, 2011

Four teams at Google launched into endeavors that will lead, less than 72 hours from now, to complete books on four open source projects.

FLOSS Manuals sprint starts at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 18, 2011

Four free software projects have each sent three to five volunteers to write books about the projects this week. Along the way we'll all learn about the group writing process and the particular use of book sprints to make documentation for free software.

FLOSS Manuals sprint starts at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 18, 2011

Four free software projects have each sent three to five volunteers to write books about the projects this week. Along the way we'll all learn about the group writing process and the particular use of book sprints to make documentation for free software.

Build HTML documentation for your C# code with Sandcastle in under 5 minutes

By Andrew Stellman
September 3, 2010

If you've ever used a library that has accurate MSDN-style API documentation, you know how useful it can be. There are lots of ways to create HTML documentation. But the easiest way that I've found is to use Sandcastle. It's an open source documentation generator from Microsoft that reads your assemblies (DLL or EXE files) and their XML Comments and automatically generates HTML documentation. Sandcastle is a very flexible tool, which means it's also a very complex tool. Luckily, there's a companion tool, Sandcastle Help File Builder, that makes it really easy to get up and running with Sandcastle in minutes.

Four short links: 15 June 2010

By Nat Torkington
June 15, 2010

On Bookmarking: Dogears and Marginalia -- asking the question "how do you bookmark in real life?". I'm interested because I have recently begun obsessively collecting the good quotes and references from books I read, thanks to Amazon Kindle app's highlights. (via titine on Delicious) Systems for Open Electronic Lab Notebooks -- question from a very respected scientist (Jonathan Eisen,...

5 Tips For Documenting Code

By Jesse Freeman
November 2, 2009

Advanced Flash Tactics or AFTs are techniques that come from deep within the Flash Art Of War, the oldest Flash military treatise in the world. In this AFT I will go over - 5 Tips for Documenting Code. Documenting code is not high on many people's lists of things todo. Most of the time it is boring, repetitive, and time consuming. If you want to get better at documenting your own code then this is the post for you. I have 5 simple rules to follow while coding to make the process easier.

Worldwide Lexicon: matching up technologies and culture to end the language barrier

By Andy Oram
September 22, 2009

Essays by Brian McConnell of World Wide Lexicon and Ethan Zuckerman of Global Voices describe the technical and cultural sides of developing communities of volunteer translators.

World Wide Lexicon Toolbar changes the reading experience for the other 99% of web pages

By Andy Oram
August 25, 2009

World Wide Lexicon Toolbar meets my criterion for a piece of critical infrastructure: after two days with it I can't get along without it, and I plan to avoid any browser that doesn't have it installed.

Challenges from a book sprint: the great things about ignorance and disorder

Challenges from a book sprint: the great things about ignorance and disorder
By Andy Oram
March 24, 2009

e tried to write a conventional computer manual in two days, and the experience has made me reconsider the conventions of computer manuals. The computer field is still in the kindergarten stage of exploring serious questions of how people learn, questions at the center of psychology and pedagogy for many decades. Even those disciplines don't quite get it, because they're fumbling with the instant messaging culture that gives us so many more tools today for learning together.

Free book, community gathering, Richard Stallman to write foreword

Free book, community gathering, Richard Stallman to write foreword
By Andy Oram
March 19, 2009

Update to my posting about a book-writing project this coming weekend in Cambridge, Mass. (March 21-22). RMS will write a foreword for the book.

Croudscribing: Can the free software community create a book in two days?

Croudscribing: Can the free software community create a book in two days?
By Andy Oram
March 15, 2009

Next weekend, March 21-22, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Free Software Foundation and FLOSS Manuals are coordinating volunteers to write a book about the command line in two days.

Writing Technical Documentation with Sphinx, Paver, and Cog

By Doug Hellmann
February 2, 2009

An open source tool chain for producing technical articles.

Education of software project members: New API posted

By Andy Oram
December 6, 2008

Over the past month I've made a few significant updates to my API for educating software project members.

Apple's Software User Guide Diet

By Jochen Wolters
September 30, 2008

AApple's handheld devices are an example for miniaturization at work: with every new release, iPods have gotten a little smaller, and "incredibly thin" is the new "insanely great." Unfortunately, Apple has also miniaturized some of their software user guides

A Guide to iPhone Dev Documentation

By Matt Twomey
July 3, 2008

Among all of the iPhone documentation published, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? In this article, Matt Twomey highlights some of the documentation from Apple that he has found most accessible, but at the same time particularly useful.


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