42 votes
Accepted

How can I get users to read the docs/FAQ before asking new questions?

Just to play devil's advocate: One thing you may want to consider is that your current documentation might be suboptimal - no one may be reading your documentation because it isn't useful (to them). ...
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  • 536
21 votes
Accepted

Quoting GPL licensed text in presentation slides

The Berne Convention on copyright specifies the Right to Quote as an exception to copyright. Article 10 (1) It shall be permissible to make quotations from a work which has already been lawfully made ...
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20 votes

How can I get contributors to document properly?

Don't merge, unless it meets your demands. All contributions are welcome, but only those that meet your standards are merged. Whether that is test coverage, a style guide, or documentation, it ...
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  • 8,956
19 votes

How can I get users to read the docs/FAQ before asking new questions?

There are a bunch of strategies that help you deal with beginner questions. Not all of them teach to RTFM, but you don't have to. Some strategies that can be very effective: Mobilize your userbase ...
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  • 8,956
12 votes
Accepted

Where do I put documentation? How much is necessary?

Think of it this way: how much documentation would I like to be available when I visit an open source project? Answer: a lot how much documentation is enough? Answer: there is never enough ...
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10 votes

Is there any particular reason to license docs with CC BY 4.0 rather than MIT?

Is there any particular reason to license docs with CC BY 4.0 rather than MIT? The MIT license was originally designed primarily for software code (and its related documentation). The CC licenses ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Choosing a License for a Tutorial Site

Things like this happen all the time. Stack Overflow, Google Devs... First off, we need to look at ways to license. Stack Overflow works by licensing all content, text and code, under the Creative ...
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  • 6,209
9 votes

How can I get users to read the docs/FAQ before asking new questions?

"Nobody" reads the f-ing manual. But let me detail my answer a bit. It's statistics you see... One only reads the manual when there is absolutely, positively nobody around that even remotely has ...
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  • 191
8 votes
Accepted

Seeking Creative-Commons-like license with addition(s) to request or require modifications be contributed back to source

Requiring people to contribute their changes back to the original project is a bit of a problem point for licenses. For open-source license, such a requirement fails the "desert island test" and ...
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7 votes

How can I get users to read the docs/FAQ before asking new questions?

As a project leader, for years I have tried to answer every single question coming to the mailing list of my user-oriented software, and I have found that: Many users can't read much English and don'...
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7 votes

Standard for "CONTRIBUTORS"-style file (format, name, etc?)

There is no standard way of listing contributors, but there are some conventions and habits. The GCC compiler has a MAINTAINERS file (in its source tarball) which could inspire you
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6 votes
Accepted

Standard for "CONTRIBUTORS"-style file (format, name, etc?)

Since you are using .md file, I take it that people won't be looking at the raw stuff with all the stars and what not. People will look mostly at the way that the file is "marked down". This means ...
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  • 6,209
5 votes

Where do I put documentation? How much is necessary?

There's really no standard; it's all up to you. For example, do I need to include information about how the code itself works? About how to use the program? How in-depth does it need to be? I ...
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5 votes
Accepted

If I'm installing a binary, where do I put the license?

This isn't really relevant for Open Source Stack Exchange, but as far as the installation of documentation on a Unix-style system goes, I'd simply adapt the FHS location for documentation to /usr/...
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  • 3,963
5 votes

How can I get contributors to document properly?

I think you're missing out on a couple things: motivation, and a suitable quality standard. It seems as if your developers aren't totally motivated. Many people (including myself) are interesting in ...
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  • 6,209
5 votes

How can I get users to read the docs/FAQ before asking new questions?

Apart from the earlier suggestion to make "Documentation" a very prominent link, perhaps the mechanism for asking questions should enforce the "search here first" paradigm. Questions? Please type ...
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  • 151
5 votes

Is code made from the documentation a derivative work

We can both write a HelloWorld application in the same language and chances are that both programs will look very similar. This does not mean that, if I were to publish mine first, that your version ...
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5 votes

How can I use programming documentation without infringing copyright?

One point that you are missing is that "trivial" things do not create a copyright of their own; nobody gets a copyright on VLOOKUP() as a whole just by using it in a YouTube video. The rest ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Should project analysis documents be packaged along with software?

It's often just a matter of manageability. A lot of developers like to keep their source control "lean and mean", which only the relevant project files there, and leave the "fluff" pieces, such as ...
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  • 3,757
4 votes
Accepted

Is ANTLR Free Software?

IMHO the existence of a book which provides detailed guidance and instruction on the use of a tool, but which costs money, does not negate the FLOSS nature of the product itself. Though admittedly a ...
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  • 6,655
4 votes
Accepted

Good licence for a new documentation project

Your best bet seems to be the a Creative Commons Share Alike license. Since you are looking for to license a creative work - your diagrams, examples, and words. Right away, Creative Commons should ...
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  • 6,209
4 votes

Standard for "CONTRIBUTORS"-style file (format, name, etc?)

Apparently theres this standard/specification/bot: https://allcontributors.org/ Here is more info: https://allcontributors.org/docs/en/overview And here is a big example: https://github.com/all-...
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4 votes
Accepted

When building an open sourced hardware project what documentation do I need?

Open source hardware means that the designs and specifications (shape, size, materials, contruction methods) are open source. This could be one or several of various available formats: technical ...
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  • 2,149
4 votes

Licences for creating technical writing/documentation - also publishing to Medium/Dev.to

There are three kinds of people to consider the ignorant, who believe that because your content is available at no cost, they have the freedom to use it as they like the dishonest, who know how ...
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3 votes

Documentation project containing articles and code examples with different licenses

CC BY-NC-SA has three requirements: Attribution (BY) NonCommercial (NC) ShareAlike (SA) Attribution is very easy to fulfil. ShareAlike is a copyleft-like mechanism but only activates if you perform ...
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  • 8,415
3 votes
Accepted

Do packages listed in a package.json file need to be documented individually?

The theory is that if you redistribute all the deps (and least for all embedded deps) then you would be responsible to comply with their license (including attribution, etc). And this is for all the ...
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3 votes

Preventing proprietary implementations/modifications of an open protocol?

You can't. Implementations of a protocol are not considered derived works of the protocol description under copyright law, so the copyright license on the protocol description has no influence at all ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Is the MIT license suitable for documentation?

While re-reading the license again and again, I noticed the slight wording difference that makes it suitable. this software and associated documentation files (the "Software") So when software is ...
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3 votes
Accepted

How to refer to the license when my code is based on a sample in documentation?

Consulting documentation and using that documentation to create your own work does not mean you are "creating a work based on the documentation." Let's look at the example you have asked about. The ...
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  • 1,463
3 votes

How to add {copyright, license, etc} to restructuredText source?

RST supports comments in various forms, which could be used to specify licenses inline. This would be similar to adding a license block to an individual source code file in a program. However. If ...
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  • 1,746

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