In the course of its twenty-two years of existence, the KDE community has created an impressive amount of documentation, from user manuals to internal project discussions to developer tutorials. Like any fast-growing garden, there is a tendency for some things to get a bit out of hand when left unattended for some time. It can be easy to get lost in the outgrowth, especially for first time visitors. It’s time to put on the gloves, take out the tools, and do a bit of gardening!
Last month, I had the privilege of coming on board as a documentation specialist to take a closer look at KDE’s developer documentation and to later come up with strategies to make them better than ever. I have talked with some of the community’s developers to get their feedback on some of the areas that need updating or fixing when it comes to technical documentation. But that’s only one part of the story.
Our dev docs are also meant for new developers. That applies to both new contributors in the KDE community as well as external developers who want to use our software, particularly our excellent KDE Frameworks. In that regard, we’re also looking for feedback on the areas where interested budding rockstar coders and passionate KDE contributors are having trouble getting into the community.
Having clear, up-to-date, and relevant documentation goes a long way in encouraging and helping new developers get involved with the community with as little friction as possible. It even helps those already manning the ship become familiar with other parts of our software they may not have used before. I would love to hear some thoughts and suggestions, especially from interested KDE hackers, so let me know in the comments below.