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Re: Attacking the documentation monster

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: Attacking the documentation monster
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2022 23:10:50 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.12.0

On 3/1/22 8:51 PM, William Liquorice wrote:
> Hello,
> A year or two ago, I tried to wrap my head around GNUnet so that I could
> try to make parallel implementations of small bits in Rust, but found
> its documentation to be utterly impenetrable. Not even from a technical
> standpoint, the massive reference manual / "handbook" is quite
> overwhelming and more akin to the Lord of the Rings.

The current documentation is admittedly not suitable for that. However,
for some pieces, suitable documentation exists! I would encourage you to
look through in that regards, those are the
pieces of documentation that exist that are suitable for re-implementation.

> Just now, I decided to look up the documentation for GNUnet's IPC
> functionality. This is a pretty important component of GNUnet's
> modularity. One rather important section about sending an example
> AddressLookupMessage between has the immediate subheading "FIXME: This
> is very outdated, see the tutorial for the current API!"
> To my annoyance, there is no link provided to this tutorial. Where is
> it? I will put the link in there myself if it exists.

Please see gnunet.git/doc/tutorial/

> I am unfamiliar with how exactly documentation is put together for
> GNUnet, but just separating out the contributor's/developer's handbook
> (most of the page) would make the actual user manual significantly less
> intimidating. It doesn't need to all be on one page.

Indeed, and texinfo allows you to do just that:

$ cd gnunet/doc/handbook/
$ texi2html --split=chapter gnunet.texi

should do the trick.

> I also made some SVG diagrams of specific GNUnet subsystems (the core
> transport -> CADET stack, GNS, VPN), but I don't recall ever hearing
> back from anyone about them. Are they any good?

I barely remember, but what I do remember is that at the time I didn't
see a good place where they would be helpful in the documentation
monster ;-).

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