Therapy, Blog Style

Well, I'm not really sure where to begin on this entry. I'm so pissed I can't see straight and I need to vent a little, so if you could care less about my emotional concerns, musings, insights into my (often deranged) mind, or whatever, skip this entry.

This is more of a LiveJournal style post.

And I disabled comments on this post and didn't put it on the front page (I can do that, ya know ^_~) because I really don't want feedback.

Anyways. I'm mad.

In late November, or maybe early December, Will and I came up with an idea for an offsite database of how-to's, tips, tricks, etc for DSL. So we set upon the quest of designing a site to access this. Okay fine, Will did the site, I did the document structure and most of the documents, how they would be read onto pages. Background stuff like that.

Eventually, after probably 2 weeks, we had a crude, but working system going, with a simple php css frontend to the documents. We figured we were ready for a little test run, so we put a link in the topic of the irc channel that just said "DSL Documentation Project" and the address of our site. Since almost no one was in the irc then, compared to now (still way more than when it was just me, tubamann, and multichill, all alone except for the occasional newbie), we got a few dozen hits over the first few days, got some new ideas and improved, got some feedback from a few people (names witheld ^_^ I have my reasons), made more improvements. Had a nice little development process going. And we were enjoying it.

After our week-long "frying pan" test, (and me breaking the css. Will said he won't ever let me touch php again. I thanked him. XD) we had a still functioning, fast, but kinda ugly little site with about 20 documents. We thought we had it going, so we started planning for a New Year's day launch of the doc site.

Between cups of egg nog, family gatherings and other Christmasish things, we started cleaning up the backend, which was uglier than the frontend, and finalizing the layout and filestructure, and cleaning up the code (not the appearance, just neater code) of the frontend. We had planned to have a nicer frontend for the launch, but Christmasy things prevented that, so I decided that I'd rather keep the launch date, without the pretty css we were designing (read "Will was designing it, and I'd yell at him when it broke in Dillo"), rather than wait a week or so, and not have it all cool and all on New Year's.

So after a few last-minute tweaks to the filestructure, at about 12:15 New York time (Had to watch the people in NY party first :p), I posted this topic in Ideas and Suggestions, announcing the presence of the doc project.

The community responce was quite good, I thought. We immediately got a few suggestions of things we had overlooked. Then John invited us to move into the new Drupal system he had installed while we were toiling in the midst of a php blizzard, so we moved to the main site.

This was a huge deal. Now, when I wanted to add a Doc, I had a nice web-based form to do so, and although the auto-parsing database Will had set up did the work of putting the link in the proper place in our system, the web entry form made things so much faster that it was, well, way faster to use the Drupal. Even if I had to edit 4 other pages to get the page linked up right, it was faster.

We rewrote and condensed several docs, combined a few, and really did a ton of cleanup to everything, since we no longer had to deal with the setup we had, and had the time. Generally prettied everything up.

So that was my Christmas break. Not like I had anything better to do really. I was recovering from having my wisdom teeth pulled, so this was about the extent of my activities, except for bleeding, for most of that time.

Besides, it was fun.

(that was a nice therapudic trip down memory lane, wasn't it?)

Anyways, back to me being pissed.

I did all of this without wanting or expecting anything, including gratitude (which I still don't need, :P If you're thankful and want to show me, send $5 to John to help support DSL), because many people who come along just expect documentation to exist and take it for granted. Which doesn't bother me, really. Projects like this should be documented. That's why we did this.

Our documentation may never be as large or expansive as that of a distro like Debian, because we are less than a tenth of the size of Debian, and have been around just not very long compared.

Needless to say, though, when someone comes in and implies that this, which I have poured several months of my life (and am still working to improve), is worthless and useless, it really burns my boxers.

But I have calmed down quite a bit from writing this, and that was the goal, so here's what I think I should learn from this.

I will continue to do the best that I can to make good, effective, and as tongue-in-cheek humorous how-tos as I can, and when I go to somewhere new, I will not judge the project, or anyone there by their documentation, or lack thereof. Everyone has to start from somewhere.