Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/04/ubuntu_documentation_failure/

Ubuntu documentation in shreds

No smart suit for you

By Phil Manchester

Posted in Software, 4th September 2008 15:01 GMT

An ambitious plan to smarten up the online documentation for Linux distro Ubuntu has ended in failure.

Dubbed the Summer of Documentation by the Ubuntu forums beginner team who devised the plan back in June, the goal was to clean up the Ubuntu Community Wiki.

The documentation wiki had "fallen into a huge state of disrepair and disorganization" according to team member Charles Davis.

The initial response to the clean-up exercise was encouraging, with several people pledging their support on the community forum in June. But come this Monday's Labor Day holiday - generally accepted to mark the end of summer in the US - the results were far from satisfactory.

Davis said in his blog that only 27 pages had been completed and many more remained to be cleaned up. He went on to acknowledge that the project should have been more widely publicised and planned better. He also pointed to the problem that seems to plague many open source development projects - volunteer burn-out.

Davis hopes to revive the plan by promoting it on the Ubuntu forums. But as one commenter on the blog noted, it could just be something to do with most programmers' reluctance to document code, a process seen as rather dull. ®