Monday October 5, 2009

No Time for Docs at RubyConf 2009

I don't envy conference program committee members. They have a difficult and generally thankless job, made worse by occasional rants such as this one. However, I really have to say something about RubyConf 2009.

Don't get me wrong; I expect to really enjoy this year's conference. There are some fascinating-looking talks (and some of my favorite speakers) on the schedule. However, I'm really disappointed that there are no (zero, nada, zip) talks on documentation.

I won't criticize any of the 40+ talks that got accepted, though there are a couple that I wouldn't walk across the street to hear. I will simply ask whether all of these talks are more important for the Ruby community to hear than any of the proposed talks on documentation.

In particular, I would have liked to see Loren Segal present a talk on YARD, a very promising candidate to replace RDoc. I'm not the only person who likes YARD. Yehuda Katz used it in Merb and expects to use it in Rails 3. Dan Kubb uses YARD in DataMapper and has also written Yardstick, a tool for verifying YARD documentation coverage.

So, YARD is likely to have a substantial impact on Ruby documentation. Maybe the conference attendees should have a chance to hear about it, discuss its strengths and weaknesses, etc. But no, YARD (and documentation in general) just wasn't important enough to get on the bill. Maybe next year...

No Time for Docs at RubyConf 2009 in Computers , Technology - posted at Mon, 05 Oct, 12:05 Pacific | «e» | TrackBack


Maybe the YARD guy didn't propose a talk?

Actually, several documentation-related proposals were submitted. I asked about the possibility of a panel (denied), then submitted my own documentation talk.

Finally, I promoted Loren's proposal to the program committee as being the most important for folks to hear. In the end, no documentation-related proposals were accepted.

YARD is a huge deal. I'm hoping that getting integration into gemcutter will be huge in making this step for the community.

Interesting post. I would really like to see a presentation about Ruby documentation. Perhaps we can create video presentations on our own and try to get the word out that way.

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