software is not genuinely Open Source if there's no proper documentation for the source code.
please hear...
please hear...

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Do you mean how to install their software or do you mean how the code works?

@onepict Developer documentation is about how the code works... Installing the software is a subject for the user documentation...

So in what way are Framasoft and Invidious failing? Criticism is valid but it needs to be explicitly explained if you want the developers (one of who needs a rest, and there's alot of folk feeling left in the lurch) and the community to listen. Is it not just the documentation is it also a failure in communication by the developers?

@onepict Both and do not have much developer documentation, just sparse, cryptic and incomplete notes on Gitbub.

believes in "documenting in the source code" (see my recent toot on that subject)

The project is particularly complex to understand, and yet is a software with a real social potential....

So I find it saddening that they don't open up their projects to outside contribution by properly documenting what they've developed so far...

I get where you are coming from on this, and the past history on trying to setup Peertube documents the complexities. Framasoft do need to improve the documentation if they want the Chatons to succeed. I agree with you on this. These are small projects with huge user bases. Documentation tends to be different things to different people and this is where one of the massive challenges to FLOSS is.

I'm just not sure how you get the developers to please hear you if you aren't more explicit on why. We are online and some of the social cues are muted. Also being online speaking in English means that comms are more muted if English isn't your native language. I've had arguments with colleagues on various bits of docco and there's a difference in opinion in person. IDK, I feel for both sides on this one.

@onepict When projects are developed by single developers, it's particularly important to have thorough documentation:

- to facilitate uptake for potential coding contributors;

- to ensure maintainability and possible continuation of the project, if the original developer falls by the wayside.

Proper developer documentation is even more important when projects seek to accumulate communities that become dependent on the software.

Doesn't that make sense?

Preaching to the choir here. I'm just trying to find a way to communicate that with others. We can't just sub toot it. We have to be explicit. Which may lead to some arguments.
Which I hate the idea of. I'd rather just have a discussion and have it lead to some form of consensus. But for it to get there in this space everyone's cards need to be on the table with explicit reminders of what the particular rules are.

@onepict Ahh, Esther, it's flogging a dead horse, anyway... I can post it in French, too... But it won't persuade those devs anyway 😞

I'm just hoping that perhaps one day when new developers/projects come along the points we make sink in. It does feel pointless occasionally, but I feel it's important someone states this. If nothing else it means if folk say "oh no one spoke up to us about this" there's a record that shows some of us have. If only to encourage more of the silent community who does agree but are scared to speak up to do so. It's a measure of a community on how it reacts to queries or criticism.

I know that to some developers this can seem like a side issue and pointless. But I don't get how we expect FLOSS projects to be utilised by laymen or folks outside our bubble if we can't make it compressible to them. Proprietary doesn't just win because of monetary resources, it's because there are resources so that any person can easily use/install their products. Regardless of privacy violations or how crap the product is.

This is beyond consumers, this is an ecosystem that is now in Education and onwards. How many people use Windows because its just always been there. How often do FLOSS solutions get ripped out due to a new lay person making the decisions for SMEs, some local governments and charities? So often, is the answer. How do we encourage those organisations outside to support the development? How do we show the value of the software to people who don't code. The working product isn't enough.

@onepict For sure, if ne wanted to sell a package like to a commercial company, there's no way they'd accept it with the developer documentation it has.

Proper developer documentation would almost certainly be a contractual clause.

But even with software that's free but that accumulates a large dependence community, surely it's a bit of a moral obligation to properly document it so that the entire project is not dependent of one single human...
please hear...

@paolo you got a Peertube instance going care to comment ?

@onepict @paolo By the way, when you load it, it alternates between the default white theme and my chosen instance dark theme, because of a bug, and because although there's already a patch on Github, I can't figure out how to apply it to the code installed on my server... That's because of lack of proper developer documentation...

Have you got the link to the issue with applying patch on github?

@onepict @paolo No, I filed an issue about the theming problem ( and a fix was pushed... But the real issue is that the codebase is very complex, and it's very difficult to know what files to patch.... Whereas with proper developer documentation, it would be possible to figure that out...
please hear...

Yeah, it may have been easier if they had specified the specific git commit. Although I suspect they weren't sure which one would be suitable for you. Perhaps respond, restate the ubuntu release part and the current contents of the config file as you aren't sure which commit is suitable. It can be difficult for developers responding to support requests when in the middle of coding. This happens with the bigger projects as well, even with paid support/dev tiers.

I'm not a developer but it's really tricky switching from infrastructure stuff to support and triage. It's a different mind set where you are trying to get the most relevant information from the client, or to the developer.

@onepict @paolo This is starting to deviate away from the original subject... But, in fact, Paolo, application of the solution in the resolving commit ( is difficult, because the names of the files edited in the codebase are not at all the same as the names of the files ultimately physically providing the executed code... So I say again that proper developer documentation would have been necessary to enable me to implement the patch...

Yeah, you might just need to really lay that out in the ticket. I know you shouldn't have to, you might need a separate ticket to illustrate its a documentation issue now.

@onepict No, we're getting off-topic now 😄 I can resolve this particular problem by re-installing my instance using a clone of the git master... but, the *real subject of interest* is that proper developer documentation is really necessary for a project like , which has a big dependent community but only one single developer... If we lose that dev, a whole community and a whole project is orphaned...
please hear...

Indeed, I think I switched context from my community brain to my support brain. LOL.

@dave The good thing of FOSS is that anyone can contribute and sometimes the best people to write code documentation are those that don't know the platform intimately.

You can start documenting what you understand and ask questions to fill up the gaps.
Once you started others will join in 😉


@paolo @onepict No, I would have done it happily with the developer's collaboration, but I'm not going to single-handedly waste days trying to reverse engineer his code... I have a life, a wife and a guitar waiting for me 😄

Well a tech work life balance is important to avoid burn-out. I've been there, it's not fun. Especially when its something you love doing and you rationally know you love doing. 😊

@dave I guess also those that are supposed to do that job haven't done what you'd like to have as they have a life as well @onepict

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Cleaning up documentation is also a major endeavour for any project. It's not something that's often funded either. Along with support which is seen as a cost, it's tied with documentation and better docco does reduce the support. We do know this, but it's hard to do when you are firefighting or trying to hit a specific deadline. As I said I really feel both sides of the argument on this. Especially when resources are constrained.

I suspect there needs to be more of the community swapping information on this. As well as implicitly saying how to contribute upstream. It may be some of the community are better connected to feedback than others.

@onepict I kind of see the issue but I see it as my issue not one created by #peertube or other FOSS.
I run, I understand roughly how it works, I know how to install it and perform basic troubleshooting.

I know I have limits in regards what to do as I don't have time to develop and patch things and I know little about many of the frameworks and component used.

It is anyway simple enough for a non expert in everything to install and run.

Good enough for me.


Arrgh comprehensible not compressible. 🤦‍♀️ Autocorrect strikes again.

I only ask as some programmers tend to believe that the only true accurate documentation is the code. I believe in meaningful comments and trying to write simple easy to understand docco to reduce questions. But everyone thinks differently and what is clear to one person isn't as easy to understand to another.

@onepict So-called documenting source code through comments in the source files is like:

I wrote you a book. I didn't write all the story, just some of it, so you can work the rest out yourself.

I divided the book into hundreds of separate bits. And I put those bits in random order in dozens of different documents.

You can go figure the order and location of the bits yourself.
Enjoy the story!

Would you read a book like that?

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