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User love and how to get it through good documentation

Have you ever tried to start using a program and found out that the documentation was incomplete, badly written or just plain wrong?

I came to LMMS in 2007 as a keen musician but someone unable to write C++. To contribute to the project, I undertook a complete rewrite of the (incomplete, badly written and wrong) manual, using several methods of learning and presenting information. In the process, the LMMS developers warmed to me, I discovered new things about the program, and I was able to help others use the software. Now with a new version with a huge quantity of new features, I'm going back to the grindstone to write the next manual.

In this talk I will be passing on what I've learnt about writing user documentation. It isn't as hard as it sounds! And you will gain the unending thanks of your user community and, most importantly, the developers, who can now concentrate on writing code!

Current manual: http://lmms.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php?title=NewManual
0.4 manual (in progress) http://lmms.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php?title=0.4:TOC

Paul Wayper

Paul is a long-time Perl and C hacker who also dabbles with music, graphics, web sites, and games. He has spent over two years working with LMMS, and eighteen months writing its documentation - which still isn't finished.