Error: not a WTF?


  • SockDev

    OK, so another SMF issue. This one is apparently not a WTF but I'm convinced it is. Help me out. No, I'm not going to make a poll because FILE_NOT_FOUND will win.

    So here's the deal. SMF has too many configurable options and most of those have a little (?) icon next to them which brings a little help popup.

    Now as I'm sure you already guessed, most people don't read them, but today we got a real life newbie who did and ventured the opinion that what the popup said didn't match what the main page said (which is true, the popups are out of date but not terribly so)

    And reported it in the 'Documentation Help' board on the basis that it's in-application documentation. To which I agreed.

    The "Documentation Team" however feel that that is not their responsibility, and that their primary duty is to write and maintain the "online manual" aka wiki. Because in-app documentation Is Not Documentation.

    So, am I right or not? Is in-application documentation 'documentation' or not? Should the 'documentation' team, whose job it is to document how to use SMF, be responsible for it?

    Or could they even just work as a fucking team, each helping where they can rather than embracing demarcation like retards?


  • mod

    @Arantor said:

    just work as a fucking team, each helping where they can rather than embracing demarcation like retards

    This


  • SockDev

    I wouldn't mind so much but I even tried to set an example when as part of the dev team - I'd do support, I'd pitch in with the manual, I'd pitch in with whatever needed doing. In hindsight, I was TRWTF.



  • @abarker said:

    This

    Selah, Amen! Demarcation is good, but it's still not an excuse for pitching in when the project is everybody's raison d'être!



  • They're responsible for the content, you're responsible for where it goes. So you tell them that you need one set of content for the document-based help AND the help pop-ups, and implement it that way.



  • It can be discussed who's responsibility it is. But somebody should be forced to own up to the bug. That is one reason why many companies/applications, liek MS, are moving their help out of their applications and putting it online AT least there your normal tech/support dudes can rectify the documentation without pushing a product update.



  • Why not convert the in-app popup to pop a new browser tab to the wiki article? Then the "Documentation Slaves Team" can maintain one set of documentation and it should help point out missing bits.


  • SockDev

    That's far too much like hard work for the documentation team to have to deal with when the developers can do it.

    When they're not busy with write-once-run-never commits, that is.



  • @Arantor said:

    Or could they even just work as a fucking team, each helping where they can rather than embracing demarcation like retards?

    There can be reasons to follow stupid demarcation rules, but they tend to be things like "I'm not allowed to touch things over there so I agree that it needs fixing but it isn't worth my job, I think the dude you need to yell at is...". From your phrasing of the situation it doesn't sound like one of those.


  • SockDev

    No, it really isn't like that. People can cross-discipline if they want, and it's even encouraged but almost no-one ever does.



  • I figured it wasn't, but I've had to use that excuse a few times so I was just pointing out that sometimes the cost of being helpful is too high.


  • SockDev

    It sucked me in pretty good over the years :frowning:



  • I thought that you were talking about your ex in another topic.


  • SockDev

    SMF is pretty much an on-again/off-again lover for all the wrong reasons.



  • Just change the text for all tooltips to read "What you're looking for is in the Wiki. Or at least it should be. If it isn't, neener neener on the Documentation Team. Nothing to do with the rest of us."



  • @M_Adams said:

    Demarcation is good, but it's still not an excuse for pitching in when the project is everybody's raison d'être!

    If you can't use it to avoid doing work and / or taking responsibility for your fuckups, what the fuck is demarcation good for?

    Hmmm?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tufty said:

    If you can't use it to avoid doing work and / or taking responsibility for your fuckups, what the fuck is demarcation good for?

    I can't tell you, bud, as it's not in my job description, but you'd be sorry without it.



  • In a general sense, if the application documentation group (wiki owners) aren't developers, use them to create and manage the feature content and have the application developers implement it (or if you have a controlled process, link directly to the article documentation so when it gets updated, it automatically updates the help info)

    That way you still have appropriate separation of duties for people who may not be skilled in that area, but you also resolve the problem and any problems going forward.


  • SockDev

    They're not developers, but there have been cases in the past where they pitched in and reviewed the help tooltips and let the devs get on and fix it.

    These days, "it's not my problem so fuck you"


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