|Subject:||[PHP-DOC] About note maintenance; when to delete notes.|
|From:||Maciek Sokolewicz (maci...@gmail.com)|
|Date:||Feb 24, 2012 1:54:11 pm|
I've been maintaining notes in the manual off and on since I came to the PHP project, quite a few years ago.
A few days ago I deleted a note, and the author sent a mail to the php-general list complaining about it. The answer by Dan was basically that the notes maintainers are overzealous and the author should contact the person who had deleted the note for clarification. Though I personally think saying that notes maintainers are overzealous is simply incorrect and may even be interpreted as insulting (yes, I do feel that way), that's not the point I'm trying to discuss.
The point I'm trying to bring up is: what notes do we want to keep in the manual, and what notes do we not want in there.
http://doc.php.net/php/dochowto/chapter-user-notes.php This url gives a few guidelines, but mainly focuses on the difference between deleting and rejecting notes.
Personally, I hold to the following guidelines (set by myself, since none really exist): - does the note add any valuable insight into the mechanism of the function / behaviour described ? - does the note clarify the use of the function / behaviour described? - does the note explain something which is clearly missing from the documentation?
And in the case of an example function: - is the code provided easy to interpret? (ie. are there comments explaining any 'difficult' behaviour) and - is the code provided useful to many people?
Obviously, since these are my own guidelines, I was wondering what the rest thinks about this. The reason I'm using such "strict" guidelines is simply to make the manual notes readable. If you look at a page such as http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.strtotime.php, there are > 100 notes present. Trying to find something useful to you is simply impossible on such a page. Trying to clean that page to only leave samples that solve very common problems or clarify the behaviour of the function is IMO a good thing. That does often mean removing various code samples of the type "this might be useful to some people".
I am wondering what others think, should we try to thin down the stream of notes and simply delete notes that have little to say about the actual function or are of relatively little use to the common PHP coder? Or should we leave as many notes as possible with examples so people can find *anything* in there? Possibly leading to unwieldy long lists of notes?
What do YOU think? Feel free to comment / criticise / be constructive ;) - Tul
P.S. Sent to both php-doc and php-notes since very few people actively read the notes list.