Ubuntu documentation mentioned in article
nixternal at ubuntu.com
Sat Apr 28 15:18:47 UTC 2007
Information Week wrote up a battle of the desktops between Ubuntu and Vista.
It was a very fair review in my opinion and they even wrote about our work.
Another area where Ubuntu still needs improvement is documentation -- not just
the online help manuals, but Ubuntu's own prompts and dialogs. Some of the
wording in the installation texts assumes knowledge of Linux that might not
be in evidence, and some things are so skimpily documented they scarcely seem
to be present at all. For example, the entire section on printing in Ubuntu's
online documentation for version 6.10 is essentially a link to
LinuxPrinting.org and the Ubuntu Wiki Printer page. The user-prompt problem
has been improved a bit since 6.10, but it's still something that needs
Ubuntu's user-contributed Wikis are often useful, but they're inconsistent in
terms of what's covered and how, and they also often assume knowledge on the
part of the reader which may simply not be there. By contrast, Vista's own
plain-language documentation for many common system functions has been
improved a great deal since XP, and they've implemented a system where
contextual help can be supplemented with newer on-line material. (That and
they've also made it easier to access the discussion groups used for
This just goes to show how important Topic Based Help really is. The new Vista
documentation and the way they have it setup is absolutely brilliant. With
every piece of system documentation there is one of those "didn't find it
here, search here" dialogs that will usually find the information for you.
Similar to the Visual Studio help dialogs.
They are right about our wiki's, and our system documentation as well. We need
to use this as motivation to crank out some killer documentation, and try and
get together and figure out how to clean up and restructure the wikis as
well. Yesterday during my Open Week talk everyone had the same comment "what
is the difference between the wikis? why so confusing?".
Time to hit the blogs I think and try and draw in some more help.
nixternal at ubuntu.com
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