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Thursday, January 10, 2013

W.T.F.M: Write The Freaking Manual

I will take this moment to reflect on what has been an epic exercise in utter frustration: Sifting through poorly written documentation or tutorials for an otherwise excellent programming language, framework, project, etc.
It seems that nowadays, the original phrase R.T.F.M. is also quickly becoming the need to W.T.F.M.
Developers: You spend hours, days, months, perhaps years refining your masterpiece.  It is an expression of your life’s work, heart and soul.  Why, then, would you shortchange yourself by providing poor or no documentation for the rest of us?
I would really like to get to know your product.  However, please don’t assume that I am of the same level of intelligence as you or as familiar with your product as you are.  
I can’t begin to count how many times I had found something truly interesting that someone had developed and was looking forward to getting to know the product better, only to find little or no documentation.  Drudging through forums on Google for several hours to glean some answers is one big buzz kill, let me tell you.
Us end-users, we do really want to understand your product.. If only you’d show us the way with some stellar documentation.
Please - Do us all a favor.  Write The Freakin’ Manual! Help us help you achieve stardom.

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