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Please don't document BE by forum

Aug 15, 2007 at 5:08 PM
Edited Aug 15, 2007 at 7:04 PM

BE at first look seems like a great application. However, it is only as useful as it is quick to learn. "Quick to learn" is dependent on useful documentation, not documentation by forum. The documentation wiki provides the necessary infrastructure, but it does not include a lot of information that is buried in the forums.

Forums should not be used as a substitution for the documentation. Instead, they are a great way to uncover what is missing from the documentation, uncover bugs, and address individual user problems.

Issues of general interest should be addressed in the documentation. General interest forum questions should be answered by embedding links to the appropriate documentation topic.

Example: Every user has to edit the "About the Author" section to create a usable blog. Since this is something that every user must do, there is no question that it should be included in the documentation. For some reason, that capability is not configurable; instead, every user must manually edit the SidePanel.ascx file in the Theme that they select. Instead of addressing this in the forums, this should be a prominent feature in the documentation. (I have since updated the wiki content to address this.)

Please, if a forum question addresses an area of broad interest, take a minute or two to update the wiki documentation. Respond to the forum question with a link to your wiki documentation entry.