XPO documentation - what do you need?

XPO Team Blog
10 July 2006

Some recent e-mail conversations prompted me to want to find out even more about what’s currently lacking in our XPO documentation. Let me first say that we are already working on this, as much as time allows – no need to tell me that many are not perfect, I’m aware of that. Documentation for XPO brings with it a lot of challenges that we don’t face with other products, because as a framework library it’s meant to be extended, to be used as a basis for your own inventions. Of course our other products have an extensibility angle – but it’s not their raison d'être.

Here’s how I want to classify the problems:

  1. Incomplete reference documentation – that’s easy – we’re constantly working on this, and if you find specific problems, please report them as bugs in support center. The online version of the product help is sometimes more current than what was delivered with the latest distribution.
  2. Documentation exists, but is hard to find. As far as I can see, this is a pretty big part. Documentation is currently in the online help, the knowledge base, support center issues, technical articles on the website, this blog, this blog and this blogour newsgroups and of course non-linkable resources like loads of other blogs or the sample code that comes with the distribution.
    Of course we are working on this problem as well, mainly by trying to consolidate information as much as possible in our product help.
  3. Documentation we don’t know is missing. Obviously, when writing product documentation, we write stuff about our product (duh). But the whole topic of object/relational mapping is complicated in itself. Even more importantly, working with (or creating) domain object models is something that many people have never done. For many applications you don’t need to be an expert in one or the other, but I’m sure there are many programmers out there who really have questions belonging into one of these blocks, so to make XPO more easily accessible for these people, we should probably extend our documentation to include this kind of information, even if it’s not XPO specific.

I would like your help with (3) (or maybe (4)?). Please let me know what your problems are (or were) and what you think how they could be solved from our side. Feel free to comment on this post, to send me e-mail or to provide feedback any other way. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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