Write-only documentation (WOD) is a
tongue-in-cheekterm 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.
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] .
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
Yahooprovides us with linksto 38 examples, and in each case there are about three of the references that arise from the Wikipediareferences.
* Write only memory
* [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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