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Re: Category Specialists (was Documentation Metrics)

On Tue, Oct 17, 2000 at 10:37:49PM +0200, jdd wrote:
> sorry, folks, but I think there is a problem.
I agree but I'm pointing up other problems.  What we need to consider
is the cost-benefit ratio of generating the metrics.  Are there other
things we could do that would be of more benefit?  So I propose that
we keep this Metric survey short by only sampling a few paragraphs in
each HOWTO (and starting by just taking a sample of HOWTOs).  If
anyone reads over an entire HOWTO, all the errors should be noted if
there are not too many of them (provided one can reach the maintainer
--see below).

I have an idea of what you'll find in your survey.  In a number of
cases you'll find HOWTOs that are not being maintained.  Thus making a
list of comments/errors is to no avail since you can't contact the
maintainer with this info.  What you might do here is to send form
letters for HOWTOs that are over 2 yrs. old to find out if anyone is
maintaining it.  If so search for a new maintainer.

Another important task is to establish a list of HOWTOs where the
current maintainer is searching for a replacement.  If this existed
less HOWTOs would lapse into being unmaintained.

Rating ones own HOWTOs is not very objective.  Your own jargon/style
sounds good to you but may turn off others.

What I would like to see as LDP expands are category specialists.  We
would have one for each category.  For example the Network Category
Specialist would read over all the docs on networks and send comments
to the maintainers.  Suggestions might be made re splitting, merging of
docs.  The category specialist would only suggest.  No one would have
to follow the suggestions.  

Each category specialist might try to keep metrics on the docs.
Better yet might be a narrative description of the situation and
problems.  I would like to see such narratives open to public access
Perhaps someone who wanted to read the docs on a certain category
might look at this narrative first.  In some cases, there could be
specialists for sub-categories.  For only a few HOWTOs in a
sub-category the same person could be both a category specialist and a
HOWTO maintainer.

Then others would reviews the narrative reports and spot check the
situation to see if everything is OK.  People with
suggestions/complaints on a certain doc would first contact the
maintainer as they now do.  If that didn't work out, they could then
contact the category specialist.  Only if that didn't work out would
they contact others in the LDP or post to the list.

> I'm unsure what this discussion is about.
> I think initially it was about knowing what documentation was lacking (to
> try to write it) and giving a help to beginners (initial writing guide)
> is for no other reason, the only people able really to meter a howto is a
> people able to write it, and if so he should better work with the author
> than judge him...
			David Lawyer

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