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Re: An interesting blog by Matt Zimmerman touches on docs



Naturally, there are disadvantages, such as:

* no internet connection = no help (beyond the minimal on-disk help)
* umm.. any other disadvantages?

You missed out

1) people on narrow-band (as it is now called) for whom the
https://shipit.ubuntu.com/ is their only hope
2) people paying per byte

Don't let osabdfl hear that you are going to 'cut off' those areas of the
world who are in that position.


P.S., are we allowed to call him that? If not, sorry.

On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 10:13 PM, Kyle Nitzsche

> http://mdzlog.alcor.net/2010/07/06/weve-packaged-all-of-the-free-software-what-now/
> Which includes this tantalizing paragraph:
> *"Treat data as a service*. It’s no longer useful to package up
> documentation in order to provide local copies of it on every Linux
> system. The web is a much, much richer and more effective solution to
> that problem. The same principle is increasingly applicable to
> structured data. From documents and contacts to anti-virus signatures
> and PCI IDs, there’s much better data to be had “out there” on the web
> than “down here” on the local filesystem."
> With which I agree in general.
> * on-disk docs might effectively be limited to only what is necessary to
> get started and get connected to the web (localized, of course).
> * run-time help links might instead display appropriate content in the
> browser.
> What are the advantages?
> * web functional richness offers numerous paths into content and many
> opportunities for sweet "eye-candy' design
> * periodically redesign web UI to bring freshness (instead of being
> "stuck" in same old rendered source format)
> * no "help viewer" dedicated app required (use browser)
> * content is more dynamic and flexible (no building packages and
> installing them) which means it's easier to fix errors and address key
> omissions
> * content can include (clearly labeled) user submissions in various
> formats: articles (reviewed and unreviewed), forums, wikis, which means
> official content undergoes obvious public review and feedback
> * in general it can provide a much easier-to-understand path for users
> to submit content
> * minimized disk footprint
> Naturally, there are disadvantages, such as:
> * no internet connection = no help (beyond the minimal on-disk help)
> * umm.. any other disadvantages?
> So that is where I'd be putting my efforts at re-thinking docs:
> * how to start building the best web-based system possible (one that
> supports the Ubuntu ecosystem, including regular Ubuntu releases and
> Ubuntu variants)
> * identifying the content that *must* be delivered as packages onto the
> disk (basically identifying the "Getting started/Getting Connected" and
> content)
> Cheers,
> Kyle
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