Re: (Off Topic ) Open Source: The Model Is Broken ??

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On Sat, 2008-12-06 at 11:43 -0600, Les Mikesell wrote:
> Ed Greshko wrote:
> >>> 1) be ABLE to write good documentation. You yourself acknowledged
> >>    good "documenters" are scarce. You're either good at it or you
> >>    aren't, it's just like programming or any other complex creative
> >>    activity. This is the biggest obstacle, or at least the first thing
> >>    that makes the "write it yourself or shut up" useless (at least). 
> >>   
> > Actually, my motives where much more subtle (sinister). 
> > 
> > I tend to feel that some those wanting more/better documentation don't
> > quite realize how difficult producing quality documentation for the
> > masses truly is.   So, it is more of "try doing it and maybe you'll gain
> > some appreciation for the difficulty".
> How does understanding the difficultly help?  And other than the 
> interactive desktop programs like the office tools, why should 'masses' 
> need to know all the details?
> >> 2) have enough free time, after you've paid mortgage, food and bills,
> >>    to start and finish writing a manual. Unless you're _paid_ just to
> >>    write that documentation, of course. Even if you're good, it takes
> >>    a lot of time and effort to do a good job.
> >>
> >>   
> > Which is why there may be a niche market for some company involved
> > "support" to include documentation.  But, that would require a business
> > plan and a business model....  :-(
> There is a well known book publisher covering technical topics with a 
> bazillion titles, but published books can't keep up with the rate of 
> change in fedora.  What we need is a way to eliminate most of the need 
> for local configuration in the same way open source eliminates most of 
> the need for local programming for common tasks.  That is, have a way 
> that a configuration that someone has expertly tuned for a particular 
> purpose can be shared with anyone who needs to do the same kind of work. 
> Fedora mostly just ships one config file for every program and might do 
> a little tweaking to match hardware and user choices during 
> installation.  If there were perhaps a hundred choices instead, 
> pre-tuned to different usage models, the end user would only need to 
> know what he wanted to accomplish, not the million variables he had to 
> change to do it.
But who would collect, setup the access, vet the operation of those 100
setups, provide accurate information about how they are tuned, and so on
and so on and so on....

Les H

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