Master Document

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at
Wed Oct 24 02:17:37 UTC 2007

Hi David

On Oct 24, 2007, at 9:31 AM, DAVID ALLEN wrote:
> Master Document systems, including Ubuntu's, are notoriously 
> unsatisfactory. I have tried to use Word Perfect's (a while back), 
> Vista's, and now Ubuntu's.

What do you mean by "master document systems"?

> I feel that they all needed much better documentation, as well as a 
> systematic overhaul of the code design. I have the following wild idea 
> for a project. 1) Write a detailed manual (not just an introductory 
> guide with step by step instructions, but an explanation of the
> structure and details of the facilities available and what they 
> actually do) - yes, warts and all.

There are a variety of manuals for Ubuntu, including The Official 
Ubuntu Book <>.

> 2) Simultaneously and separately, produce annotations to this manual, 
> pointing out the awkward bits, missing bits and downright infuriating 
> bits in the system for the developers to think seriously about 
> improving. 3) To suggest improvements in the available function.

This is what I recommend at the end of

> The overall objective would be to produce a spec. for a fully 
> developed system, with full documentation that everyone would want to 
> use. Questions: 1. Is it feasible? I believe that, with a bit of help 
> from here, I could do it (no, not just tomorrow, but over some months 
> at least).
> ...

Writing a complete specification for Ubuntu would be about as difficult 
as writing Ubuntu from scratch. By the time you'd finished, the 
requirements would have changed.

If you're interested in writing design specifications, I suggest 
starting with something much smaller that needs design improvement -- 
for example, the Dictionary tool, or the Indexing Preferences (aka 
Tracker Preferences).

Matthew Paul Thomas

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