Ideas for X improvement.

Alan Coopersmith alan.coopersmith at
Fri May 27 17:06:35 PDT 2011

On 05/27/11 04:43 PM, David Jackson wrote:
> This advice is valid for all software projects. if you want people to help
> develop software, document the software code with documentation. Explain how the
> parts of the software fit together, how the code operates, explain what the
> different parts do, document functions and variables and what each of those do.
> Explain the processes involved with several of the code paths, such as the code
> path followed at startup, and when a message or event is recieved, and so.
> provide documentation that will allow a person with only a basic understanding
> of C or Python or other language used to become an expert in the software,
> without having to do detective work to try to backengineer how the software
> works. With software, it can take months to figure out how complex software work
> by looking at source code, with good documentation this can be reduced to days
> or weeks.

The current developers have mostly inherited a massive, 25-year old code base.
We have been working on improving the documentation, and have made huge
improvements, but there is much still to do.    There's a documentation sprint
being  planned for later this year at the time of our annual conference to get
a bunch of people together to put together a new developer guide as well.

> The developers should also listen to this advice. in the case of X, this
> also includes not only documenting fully how the server works and its internals,
> but also how video hardware works.

	-Alan Coopersmith-        alan.coopersmith at
	 Oracle Solaris Platform Engineering: X Window System

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