Questioning the doc

Here’s a VLOG about some changes we’re making to the MAAS documentation. It’s all about using questions at the top of articles to help direct attention.

This idea grew out of our frustration over long pages with lots of complex information. We tried a top table of contents, but that looks weird and requires a lot of policing to keep up-to-date.

A couple of highlights:

– Questions don’t necessarily point to sections in the current article. We wanted to collect pointers to relevant info, no matter where it might naturally reside in the docset. Think of it as a cheap way to achieve transclusion.

– Not all pages rate questions. Pages that provide linear instructions — or pages that are very short — won’t use questions, because they’re not appropriate.

– When questions are arranged in a “knowledge gradient” (still working on this), readers can use the questions to dive in at the right level, without feeling frustrated wading through tutorial information.

– Attempting questions also helps us force out pages that are overly long or poorly structured. If there are too many questions, or it’s hard to form questions to describe a page, those are useful red flags.

That said, have a look at this VLOG explaining the new look and the process by which we got there.

Ubuntu cloud

Ubuntu offers all the training, software infrastructure, tools, services and support you need for your public and private clouds.

Newsletter signup

Select topics you’re
interested in

In submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and agree to Canonical’s Privacy Notice and Privacy Policy.

Related posts

Multus: how to escape the Kubernetes eth0 prison

Kubernetes has been successful for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it takes care of things that application developers may not want to...

Snapcraft development tips: how to troubleshoot snaps with services

In the past, we have discussed various ways on how to debug and troubleshoot potential issues during snap development. The ability to quickly iterate, resolve...

Ubuntu on WSL 2 Is Generally Available

Today Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 in the Windows 10 May 2020 update. WSL 2 is based on a new architecture...