Has anyone considered starting a collaborative, open source JBoss documentation project?
The current JBoss documentation is out of date. Even the “for fee” documentation is lagging behind the current release which is a pretty poor state of affairs anyway, but for a company thats trying to make money out of an open source project it seems pretty foolhardy: surely you need to build as good a level of supporting services as possible? Raw documentation is basically entry level, no hand holding support after all.
Even when it is up to date, the documentation is still not that hot. It could do with a good editor, IMHO.
I’m sure there are a lot of JBoss gurus out there with knowledge to share, so why isn’t this knowledge being gathered together? My impression is that this is actually discouraged, although hopefully I’m wrong. When I first looked at the JBoss project a year or so ago, there were some community docs, but it seemed as if these were being “deprecated” in favour of the for-fee docs. This struck me as odd at the time as basically it amounted to asking users not to write things up and give them away for free. This is counter to my impression of how a good open source project ought to be run, and seems to stifle community building.
Good quality, free documentation would obviously threaten a for-fee product if the latter wasn’t as good. Although I’m pretty sure that throwing a good technical author and/or editor at a set of collaboratively produced documentation ought to yield something even better. The model I’m thinking of is something similar to whats being done with Cocoon: the Wiki is the fermenting ground for the “formal” documentation. Although in that instance, the more structured documentation is free too.
So I’m curious why there isn’t already a community documentation effort, even if it was an unofficial effort separate from JBoss.org? There are great swathes of documentation missing: e.g. architectural design notes, roadmaps, etc. Or if it does exist I’ve not come across it.
Seems like such a beast could be a safety buffer for those of us moving to using JBoss in production, but with uneasy faith in the projects ability to communicate design goals and documentation effectively.