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PmWiki: DocumentationGuidelines

The essence of good instruction is knowing what details to leave in and which to leave out.
-Pm, in message to the the pmwiki-users mailing list

Quick Points

These are the broad guidelines used for writing documentation pages for PmWiki.


Many of the quick points above need no further explanation, but the items below provide more details and "how to" information.

KISS (Keep It Short & Simple)

Keep the markup in the documentation simple. The PmWiki documentation is a self-demonstration of what can be done with wiki markup, and like any collaborative document it needs to be accessible to many authors. It's important for the markup to be readable - not just the rendered output.

How to indicate audiences and document difficulty level

Indicated audiences are not intended to be exclusive or constraining; they just provide a convenient way for a user to decide what is relevant to them. And, of course, a convenient way for authors to indicate who their docs are intended for. For a full description see Audiences.

There is no direct relation between the audience and the level - audience classifies the individuals accessing the wiki, while level indicates the relative difficulty of the material.

Suggested markup (near or at the top of the page):

(:Audience: readers, authors (basic):)

Suggested markup (in the page):

%audience% readers, authors

readers, authors (intermediate)

How to provide keywords to assist with searches

Use this markup:

(:keywords word, ...:)

Example for this page:

(:keywords Documentation Guidelines, Documentation, Howto Document:)

Add keywords before any visible content on the page.

How to make sure links work

Not every page that is in the PmWiki group here or on pmwiki.org ends up in the distribution. Beware of creating links to non-distributed pages.

Use headings for information "chunking"

A long page of unbroken text can discourage readers. Use headings to break your page into sensible chunks. Headings allow readers to quickly find the information they are seeking.

Use "newspaper-style" writing where possible

In "newspaper-style" writing, you tell the whole story right at the start and then elaborate on the details later. This allows readers to get a quick appreciation of the subject at hand - and for many, that will be enough. Anyone looking for more discussion or examples reads further to find them. In newspapers, the whole story is usually told in the first paragraph. Newspapers use short sentences. The sentences are "punchy".

Do not "sign" documentation

PmWiki makes it very easy to "sign" your contributions by inserting ~~~ in the edit window. Signing is appropriate when you are posing questions or expressing a personal opinion. Most authors are very reluctant to edit signed material. However, documentation generally is not a personal opinion, and editing should be encouraged. The curious can use the history view to see who said what.

Some suggested text "styles"

''filename.ext'' or ''local/config.php''

filename.ext or local/config.php




Some of the discussions behind these guidelines are preserved on the PmWiki:DocumentationGuidelines-Comments page. For convenience all further comments to this page could be made here PmWiki:DocumentationGuidelines-Comments

Получено с http://www.graffiti.org.ru/PmWiki/DocumentationGuidelines
Редакция от 07.01.2009 02:36