Jul 21 – 25, 2021 Online Event
UTC timezone

If you write it they will come

Jul 21, 2021, 3:50 PM
40 Minute Presentation


Emmanuele Bassi (GNOME Foundation)


Or: Lies free and open source developers tell themselves about documentation.

The holy grail of platform development is to write an API that is so crystal clear in its intent, and whose patterns are so obvious to newcomers and experts alike, that it achieves the hallowed status of being "self documenting". Like any other Utopian ideals, it's of course asymptotic by definition; nevertheless, software developers still try to achieve what is, in effect, a fantasy.

This presentation starts by breaking the spell on documentation for software libraries, using the GNOME stack as the reference; it will outline the history of its tools, its current state after nearly 20 years of chasing a dream, and how to move forward in making the GNOME developers documentation better in the real world.

Author(s) Bio

Emmanuele Bassi is a contributor to the GTK toolkit and the GNOME software development platform; a long time GNOME developer and user; and a GNOME Foundation employee.

Primary author

Emmanuele Bassi (GNOME Foundation)

Presentation materials