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As someone who has been working in I.T. for 30 years, I am appalled at the lack of documentation.
Documenting this application should be your Number One priority before going any further with new features.
The documentation should be created at the same time as you are creating/modifying the application.
There needs to be a detailed description, including examples, of how to use each Configuration option.
Any excuses, regarding the application being Open Source, are invalid.
Secondly, the English, in places, is terrible. If English is not your native language, then, you should ask someone, whose native language is English, to verify that the Spelling and Grammar are correct.
The lack of documentation and imperfect English make the application appear unprofessional.
Thank you, Michael.
This is also a community supported project, and always has been. You say that an application being open source is invalid excuse, but in all reality it is totally valid. Developers concentrate on new features, bug fixes, and improvements in the code - and this is constant, in an effort to produce a stable usable product, and in the end, it's free. There's no charge. You can basically do with it what you want.
I'm not a developer, creator, or any of the such, but for the last year, I have done what I can to help other members via the support forums - donating many hours of my time to help support the project, mainly since I am unable to contribute financially to it's hosting or further development. There are very few of us who actually try to help grow and support the project in any way we can. We have asked for community help repeatedly when it comes to the documentation. In all honesty, nobody would be better suited to contribute documentation than users and administrators who are using the product. Developers already know and understand what the features are there for and how they work, so in many cases it is not 'that easy' to properly document something for them.
While I can understand your feelings, I hope you can understand mine on this issue. I find it almost rude to word things the way that you did in response to a 'freely available product' that in order to find an alternative with as many features, you will be spending large sums of money, not only for the product but for support as well.
My only thoughts about the bad english go right back to the concept of this being a user supported project, with several developers. They rely heavily on the bug tracker and the forums to help make the product better. If you know where the english issues are, please point them out. Lodge a report in the bug-tracker, or post in the Bug Reports forum so that we can address the issue and get it taken care of. We all work together to try to make this project and application what it is - but nobody is perfect, and english is not the only language in the world - I am sure that the other languages also have problems in the code as well. But without input from the users of the software, things like that can get overlooked while developers are concentrating on other parts of the application (mainly bug fixes and code optimizations/improvements).
** the thoughts and comments in this post are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for the other developers or the rest of the YAF team in this post. **
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Interesting, I have been in the field for a long time as well, and documentation is often a neglected area, even from commercial products. As Squirrel pointed out, its an area that help has been asked for with. Since your using the software, and are very concerned about the state of the documentation, perhaps you would like to contribute by helping update it?
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