Re: Tell who did you PAY to include Akonadi?
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On Sat, 31 Mar 2012 17:27:51 +0200
Kevin Krammer articulated:
> On Saturday, 2012-03-31, Felix Miata wrote:
> > On 2012/03/31 11:13 (GMT+0200) Kevin Krammer composed:
> > > However, KDE, as a lot of other Free Software initiatives, is
> > > open for contributions from all people, not just developers. So
> > > if anyone wants to contribute user level documentation for any of
> > > those software components they are very welcome to do so.
> > >
> > > My understanding is that this is a rather straight forward
> > > process, basically just logging into userbase.kde.org and
> > > creating a new page or adding to an already existing one.
> > That a mere mortal user _can_ contribute documentation doesn't
> > account for the knowledge of what to write.
> I assumed that it was obvious that writing about some topic required
> some knowledge about it as well as some writing skills and a decent
> mastery of the target language.
> Of course somebody without the necessary skills or information, a
> mere mortal user as you put it, can't contribute that way. Doesn't
> make the contribution process less open.
> And personally I don't by this characterisation at all. Most people
> have decent writing skills and more knowledge than they might take
> credit for.
> > It's the devs who know what capabilities
> > and methods for utilizing them are being put in, not ordinary
> > users, no matter what writing talents they have to offer.
> Creating something is not the only source of knowledge about that
> something. Granted Stephen Hawkins or other great physists are
> probably the primary source of information regarding current phyiscs
> theories, yet I doubt that any one of them wrote the wikpedia page on
> string theory.
> > I doubt many users with
> > the urge to contribute have the clairvoyance to know what the devs
> > are thinking or the talent to read sources to figure out what to
> > write.
> I doubt that as well. Yet magically way more complex things get
> written about on wikipedia. Maybe that's what those Nobel price
> winners do in their labs all day.
> Or maybe I am the only person who doesn't know all about string
> theory and everyone else could have easily written those wiki entries.
> A somewhat less plausible theory is that someone with interest in
> such an advanced topic had read some books or even research papers on
> that topic and created the wiki pages based on what they've learned.
> Maybe someone who wrote such a book or paper even bothered to correct
> mistakes or misunderstandings.
> But as you already showed, mere mortals don't read books or papers on
> advanced physics so it must have been those Nobel laureats.
It is a well accepted fact that the worst writer for a specific project
is usually the person who designed the project to begin with. They
usually fail to grasp the simple concept that someone is not able to
grasp a "simple to them" concept. Professional writers who specialize in
writing documentation spend a great deal of time with both the
author/developer of said device or software and then observe over an
extended period of time just what happens when a normal user is exposed
to the device/software sans any written instructions. This is
fundamentally different from an author submitting a document on
"string theory" for Wikipedia. That author has very likely studied the
subject at length in a university or some other institute. He/she did
not just pluck the knowledge out of thin air.
I will agree with one of your statements however, specifically the
reference to mere mortals and advanced physics. After graduating from
college, the average individual will never again read a book on
advanced physics or even calculus for that matter.
I am sure you are familiar with the phase, "A poorly written help
manual is worse than no manual at all." The same applies here.
Misleading or incomplete information is worse than no information at
all. FOSS sans concise documentation has been its albatross since day 1.
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