EiffelStudio releases are semi-annual, end of May and end of November. Release 14-05 just came out. The next release (14-11) is entirely devoted to documentation. We are hoping for extensive community involvement in this first-time Eiffel Documentation Drive.
Many people regularly comment that there is not enough Eiffel and EiffelStudio documentation, and some of what exists is not good enough. We have decided to tackle the problem seriously, hence the dedication of an entire release cycle to documentation. The term is taken here in a broad sense: “documentation” means what is at http://docs.eiffel.com, but also everything else that can help understand Eiffel, for example updating Wikipedia entries on topics for which Eiffel has something to offer.
Anyone with an understanding of an Eiffel-related topic can help. We particularly need help from two (non-disjoint) categories of contributors
- Those with a good understanding of one or more Eiffel-related topics.
- Those with good writing skills.
The process will involve reviewing, so if you are an Eiffelist with moderate taste for writing, or a good writer with incomplete knowledge of Eiffel, we need your help anyway; someone else will compensate for the missing side. In particular, a common criticism is that some of the documentation was written by developers who do not have English as their mother tongue; if you can help improve it everyone will benefit. Of course if you are good at both technology and writing it’s even better.
We are mentioning English because it is the first target, but documentation in other languages, either original or a translation of existing English pages, is needed too.
Here is how the Eiffel Documentation Drive works:
- Here you will find a form to report missing or unsatisfactory documentation. Please fill it on every applicable occasion.
- The entries will be read by a member of the Eiffel Software team, who in applicable cases will add a row to the Eiffel Documentation Drive spreadsheet here. You can not only read that spreadsheet but also edit it yourself, so as to keep it as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
- An email will be sent to the user list, with “Eiffel Documentation Drive” in the header (so that people not interested in the topic can filter them out), requesting help.
- Those willing to help can enter their names in the corresponding row, indicating a planned date of completion.
Each row includes among its fields the following: topic, link to existing documentation, volunteer writer(s), planned completion, volunteer reviewer(s).
The full Eiffel Software team will participate – as noted above, improving the documentation is the strategic goal for the release – but we hope for considerable community participation. Please help make EiffelStudio documentation shine as much as the environment itself.