I write cooking recipes for publication. Documentation is a lot like writing recipes. Recipes are for all types of cooks, beginners and experts. Most of the documentation I find is sparse, lacking details, written for the person who wrote the code. It is hard to write directions for people who don’t know how to use or do the coding. I have been trying to expand the documentation for some Docker containers and I can’t find a new user that can tell me what is missing. I hear everything is find from experts.
Suggestions for requirements for documentation from recipes submission requirements.
Title, something instead of documentation.
Tell us about your recipe. Needs to be a little more than it is a Docker container.
Ingredients. Let people know what is needed. Software, libraries, how much memory needed. Give people an idea if they even can do the task with what system they have. Do not send people to the grocery store for a missing ingredient or to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor. This is really important for when people come to a half day workshop only to find out they can’t participate.
Prep method, for recipes what is needed is stove top, oven, grill, blender. What are we doing? Baking? Spinning up a web server, database. Be clearer are we frying or blending?
After clearly stating what we are doing, write out the directions. Include prep and cook time. For example it takes three hours to code this. Build time is half a day. Recipes state what occasion Holiday they are for. Also what category. Github tags make this easy, use them. Course Breakfast, lunch, Dinner. Quantity served. From these ideas Think the documentation thru to more useful documentation. Stack Overflow should not be your only documentation.