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The future of documentation

Published on Friday March 01, 2019 by Paul Wicking in Documentation Qt | Comments

"Honestly Qt's documentation is pretty close to perfect, I wish other framework's documentation were as good. Keep doing what you're doing."

"Documentation has always been top-notch"

"The documentation is great."

These quotes are from you, the users of Qt. For someone like me, who works with documentation for a living, this is awesome. It's extremely cool to work with docs that receive this kind of feedback from its users. In light of the sheer size of the project, it becomes even more impressive. The online documentation for Qt 5.12 spans over 18000 pages. It covers more than 3000 classes and QML types across more than 120 modules. It's simply massive. So it probably doesn't come as a surprise that we also get some suggestions regarding how we can improve the docs. Easier navigation, more code snippets, more examples, missing documentation (Qt3D, anyone..?) - these are all regulars. My personal favorite is perhaps not the nicest way of putting it, but it certainly does get the point across [0].

Okay, so what's this all about, then, that makes me write a blog post about it?

The future of documentation: a workshop

Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th March, some of us that take pride in Qt's documentation come together for a two-day workshop about documentation. The workshop takes place at The Qt Company's offices in Oslo. We're joined by colleagues from Finland and Germany. We're lucky enough to have a technical writer from Luxoft join us as well, to help us understand more about what it's like to work on Qt documentation from the outside. From developers and tech writers to product managers, we're putting our heads together to figure out how we can improve our docs further. We want you to have more fun and get more things done.

The agenda is already on the wiki [1], along with some ideas about what we want to address. If you want to join us in this workshop, I'd be happy to welcome you aboard - get in touch with me so we can sort out the practicalities. But it doesn't matter if you can't join - I still want to hear from you out there. What can we do to improve the docs? Have you seen something done brilliantly in some other documentation set? (Yes, they're brilliant, but don't expect Qt docs to mimic IKEA assembly instructions anytime soon.) Perhaps you want to contribute to the docs, help out with some of the examples? Whatever it is, make use of the comment section to let us know about it. If you're not a fan of the comment section, feel free to send me an email or look me up on IRC :)


[0] - "Your documentation examples are sometimes shitty in the sense that they cover only trivial cases, but not advanced ones."
[1] - https://wiki.qt.io/Documentation_Workshop_2019

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