Do you feel bad because of the Python docs?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Wed Feb 27 03:00:36 CET 2013


On 2/26/2013 1:58 PM, Mitya Sirenef wrote:

> I think the issue with python documentation is that it ignores the 95/5
> rule: 95% of people who land on a module's page are only looking for 5%
> of its information. So ideally it'd be separated in two different pages
> or two sections of the same page, something like:
>
> ===============================================================================================
>
>
> Hi, chances are you are the 95% of people who isn't interested in the
> intricacies, obscure edge cases et cetera. Here are the few common use
> cases for this module:
>
> ...
>
> ...
>
> ...
>
> ===============================================================================================
>
>
> Hi, the section above obviously did not suit your needs, so you must be
> in the 5% who has no choice but to either read through or at least
> glance through, or use search, to find what you need in the following
> umpteen million of screenfuls:
>
> ... * 1000000
>
>
> ===============================================================================================
>
>
> Why doesn't Python do that?

We are not literally going to write text like that, but we did recently 
re-organized the doc for one module specifically to put the most 
commonly used stuff (about the 'convenience' functions) at the top 
instead of buried where it was.

> Quite simply, it's a lot more work: you have
> to separate most useful parts from the rest, which involves judgement
> calls and will cause some disagreement and ultimately won't be perfect.
> Once done, two separate sections need to be mainained and kept in sync.

In the case above, there is no duplication to be kept in sync. More the 
problem is that people working of the docs tend to either leave or move 
on to code. Report like 'This section is unclear' are not too helpful 
either.

-- 
Terry Jan Reedy




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