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]

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