Documentation is important

 So I have to admit that although I've been preaching for years that open source software needs more documentation, it wasn't really something I worried about. (Probably partially because I have a good network I can always ask when in doubt.) At least that's how I felt until I got my G1 phone.

I read manuals. I read the G1 manual in a couple of minutes. And then I really wished I had the real manual – one of those that tells you everything about your phone – when …

  • At one point in time I saw a list of wireless networks on my G1. Now it just seems to connect to one. I can disconnect and reconnect … to whichever random network it wants. Nothing in the manual. Some where on my phone has got to be an option that would show me the available wireless networks and let me select one.
  • I was trying to add shortcuts to the home screen to no avail. A quick google search told me that tapping and holding would show me the most used six apps. Nope, but it did let me add a shortcut!
  • Speaking of which, my phone does a lot of cool things that I keep accidentally discovering. Like an accidental swipe to the right showed me that the home screen is three times as big as I thought!

It's a really cool phone and it does cool things, but accidentally discovering features one by one makes me feel like I'm missing out. (Not to mention the frustration I feel when I'm trying to do something I know it can do.)

So I'm not complaining about my G1. I'm just pointing out that good documentation is a good thing.

Photo by romainguy.