liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Open-Source Documentation: in search of user-driven, just-in-time writing
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, MDALAB - Human Computer Interfaces. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
IBM Toronto Lab, Canada.
2001 (English)In: Proceedings of SIGDOC 2001, October 21– 24, 2001 in Santa Fe, NM, Santa Fee, NM: ACM , 2001, 132-141 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Iterative development models allow developers to respond quickly to changing user requirements, but place increasing demands on writers who must handle increasing amounts of change with ever-decreasing resources. In the software development world, one solution to this problem is open-source development: allowing the users to set requirements and priorities by actually contributing to the development of the software. This results in just-in-time software improvements that are explicitly user-driven, since they are actually developed by users.In this article we will discuss how the open source model can be extended to the development of documentation. In many open-source projects, the role of writer has remained unchanged: documentation development remains a specialized activity, owned by a single writer or group of writers, who work as best they can with key developers and frequently out-of-date specification documents. However, a potentially more rewarding approach is to open the development of the documentation to the same sort of community involvement that gives rise to the software: using forums and mailing lists as the tools for developing documentation, driven by debate and dialogue among the actual users and developers.Just as open-source development blurs the line between user and developer, open-source documentation will blur the line between reader and writer. Someone who is a novice reader in one area may be an expert author in another. Two key activities emerge for the technical writer in such a model: as gatekeeper and moderator for FAQs and formal documentation, and as literate expert user of the system they are documenting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Santa Fee, NM: ACM , 2001. 132-141 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13492DOI: 10.1145/501516.501543OAI: diva2:20860
Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2010-12-14
In thesis
1. Library Communication Among Programmers Worldwide
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Library Communication Among Programmers Worldwide
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Programmers worldwide share components and jointly develop components on a global scale in contemporary software development. An important aspect of such library-based programming is the need for technical communication with regard to libraries – library communication. As part of their work, programmers must discover, study, and learn as well as debate problems and future development. In this sense, the electronic, networked media has fundamentally changed programming by providing new mechanisms for communication and global interaction through global networks such as the Internet. Today, the baseline for library communication is hypertext documentation. Improvements in quality, efficiency, cost and frustration of the programming activity can be expected by further developments in the electronic aspects of library communication.

This thesis addresses the use of the electronic networked medium in the activity of library communication and aims to discover design knowledge for communication tools and processes directed towards this particular area. A model of library communication is provided that describes interaction among programmer as webs of interrelated library communities. A discussion of electronic, networked tools and processes that match such a model is also provided. Furthermore, research results are provided from the design and industrial valuation

of electronic reference documentation for the Java domain. Surprisingly, the evaluation did not support individual adaptation (personalization). Furthermore, global library communication processes have been studied in relation to open-source documentation and user-related bug handling. Open-source documentation projects are still relatively uncommon even in open-source software projects. User-related Open-source does not address the passive behavior users have towards bugs. Finally, the adaptive authoring process in electronic reference documentation is addressed and found to provide limited support for expressing the electronic, networked dimensions of authoring requiring programming skill by technical writers.

Library communication is addressed here by providing engineering knowledge with regards to the construction of practical electronic, networked tools and processes in the area. Much of the work has been performed in relation to Java library communication and therefore the thesis has particular relevancefor the object-oriented programming domain. A practical contribution of the work is the DJavadoc tool that contributes to the development of reference documentation by providing adaptive Java reference documentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2002. 199 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 758
software development, library-based programming, library communication, hypertext documentation, Open-source, bug handling, object-oriented programming
National Category
Computer Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-4982 (URN)91-737-3349-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2002-09-27, Visionen, Hus B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
On the day of the public defence the title of article I was: Designing Electronic Library Reference Documentation.Available from: 2002-10-20 Created: 2002-10-20 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textLink to articleLink to Ph.D. Thesis

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Berglund, Erik
By organisation
MDALAB - Human Computer InterfacesThe Institute of Technology
Engineering and TechnologyComputer Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 106 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link