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Subject: Re: [boost] Change to documentation writing guidelines
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2009-06-01 16:10:23

Daniel James wrote
On Monday, June 01, 2009 3:29 PM
> 2009/5/31 Daniel James <daniel_james_at_[hidden]>:
> Oh, I've got an objection myself. That part of the document concerns
> the C++ standard documentation guidelines, where this isn't
> appropriate. So instead I added an extra paragraph to the
> introduction:

The introduction is not a good place to document content requirements. I suggest something like the following:


   Boost does not require any specific documentation structure.
   However, there are some important considerations that
   influence content and structure. For example, many Boost
   libraries wind up being proposed for inclusion in the C++
   Standard, so writing them initially with text suitable for
   inclusion in the Standard may be helpful. Also, Boost library
   documentation is often accessed via the World Wide Web,
   including via search engines, so context is often important
   for every page. Finally, Boost libraries should provide
   additional documentation, such as introductory, tutorial,
   example, and rationale content. With those things in mind, we
   suggest the following guidelines for Boost library

   The documentation structure required for the standard is an
   effective way to describe the technical specifications for a
   library. Although terse, that format is familiar to many Boost
   users and is far more precise than most ad hoc formats. Below
   is a description of the Standard documentation structure. Note
   that Standard proposals must include full standardese wording,
   which the committee will not do for you, to be accepted. That
   level of detail is not expected of Boost library

Standards Conforming Documentation


Web Reference Documentation

   Boost library documentation is often accessed via the World
   Web. Using search engines, a page deep in the reference
   content could be viewed without any further context.
   Therefore, it is helpful to add extra context, such as the
   following, to each page:

   * Describe the enclosing namespace or use fully scoped
   * Document required headers for each type or function.
   * Link to relevant tutorial information.
   * Link to related example code.
   * Include the library name.
   * Include navigation elements to the beginning of the

   It is also useful to consider the effectiveness of a
   description in search engines. Terse or cryptic descriptions
   are less likely to help the curious find a relevant function
   or type.

Rob Stewart robert.stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer, Core Software using std::disclaimer;
Susquehanna International Group, LLP

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