Write-only documentation

Write-only documentation (WOD) is a tongue-in-cheek term for documentation that is [http://www.doceo.co.uk/reflection/2006/10/on-write-only-documents.htm written to satisfy a process] but never read subsequent to its writing.

Derogatory term

While write-only documentation may have began as a derogatory term assigned by technical writers/programmers to documentation that had no other use than to be a required text to meet contractual obligations, the term is in use as a general term for documentation that is [http://www.sphereofinfluence.com/roi.htm seen to be a waste of effort] .

Passing comments

Most online references to write-only documentation are made in passing when explaining or writing about some other subject. For example, the term is used in passing when building the case for "write-only memory" which was a famous [http://www.wyrdology.com/festivals/april-fools-day/wom.html April fool's day joke] , in [http://www.krysalis.org/cgi-bin/krywiki.pl?CoPDoC discussing a community project] , when discussing [http://www.sphereofinfluence.com/roi.htm accountability in running software building projects] , and referring to a project as potential to [http://publica.fraunhofer.de/eprints/N-39469.pdf degenerate into write-only documentation] .

Overall use of the term in language

While the term "write-only documentation" has been in use for several years (we can [http://www.theworld.com/~lo/95.12/0345.html determine that it was in use in 1995] ), it is unclear as to where it started to gain traction and what has led to its general use in software projects/documentation projects. Search engines, such as Google, specifically makes use of the full term "write-only documentation" about 27 to 30 times, while Yahoo provides us with links to 38 examples, and in each case there are about three of the references that arise from the Wikipedia references.

See also

* Write-only language
* Write only memory
* Requirements analysis

External links

* [http://www.wyrdology.com/festivals/april-fools-day/wom.html Write-only Memory April fool's day joke]
* [http://www.sphereofinfluence.com/roi.htm Use of the term in a Software Project plan]
* [http://www.doceo.co.uk/reflection/2006/10/on-write-only-documents.htm Blog detailing the use of Write-only documentation]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Write-only — may refer to:* Write only Documentation, a tongue in cheek term for documentation that is written to satisfy a process but never read subsequent to its writing * Write only language, a derogatory term for programming languages that are hard to… …   Wikipedia

  • Software documentation — or source code documentation is written text that accompanies computer software. It either explains how it operates or how to use it, and may mean different things to people in different roles. Contents 1 Role of documentation in software… …   Wikipedia

  • Comparison of documentation generators — The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of documentation generators. Please see the individual products articles for further information. This article is not all inclusive or necessarily up to date. Unless… …   Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • Perl — This article is about the programming language. For other uses, see Perl (disambiguation). Perl Paradig …   Wikipedia

  • LANceGS Ethernet Card — The LANceGS Ethernet Card is the first released general purpose Ethernet card for the Apple II series of computers. It was introduced in the year 2000 and developed by ///SHH Systeme in Germany. This is an 8 bit card to maintain compatibility… …   Wikipedia

  • Europe, history of — Introduction       history of European peoples and cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Europe is a more ambiguous term than most geographic expressions. Its etymology is doubtful, as is the physical extent of the area it designates.… …   Universalium

  • chmod — The chmod command (abbreviated from change mode) is a Unix command that lets a user tell the system how much (or little) access it should permit to a file.[1] It changes the file system modes of files and directories. The modes include… …   Wikipedia

  • Game design — This article is about video game design, and does not deal with the design of other forms of game, such as board games and card games …   Wikipedia

  • Criticism of the APL programming language — The APL programming language has been used since the mid 1960s on mainframe computers and has itself evolved in step with computers and the computing market. APL is not widely used, but minimalistic and high level by design, at several points in… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.