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Re: Preferred method of documentation?

by dragonchild (Archbishop)
on Oct 05, 2004 at 21:55 UTC ( #396788=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Preferred method of documentation?

Documentation comes in two flavors - developer docs and user docs. For library-type code, like CGI or DBI, they may be more similar than, say, for Template or Mason.

User docs are the easy one, conceptually. You need to do something similar to Microsoft's helpfiles. Whatever you may feel about their products or practices, they are really good in their docs, for the average user.

Developer docs are more specific. I would want to know the following:

  • What requirements does this satisfy?
  • What were the architecture choices? Why was this one chosen?
  • What is the API? If possible, who uses the API? How much of the API is inviolable?
  • What are the assumptions? Preconditions and postconditions are an excellent way of putting it.
  • What were the implementation choices? What was this one chosen?
  • Most importantly, where are you going with this? What are the intended future directions? Why?
  • What tests does this pass? How are the tests run? How often?
  • What is the build process? How is the build run? How often?

These are all the same questions you would ask if you were handed 1200 lines of code and told "Make XYZ changes to it".

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Re^2: Preferred method of documentation?
by knowmad (Monk) on Oct 08, 2004 at 13:29 UTC

    Nice post dragonchild. For large applications that need this kind of documentation, I've found the ReadySET templates to be quite helpful. The project provides html templates for all of the questions you ask and more.

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