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Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

Lack of documentation is one way that gate-keeping happens

Because I guarantee you there are people who are explaining it to other people; it's not just that the most cleverest 1337 haxors are figuring it out on their own

But when this kind of explaining is done informally, and not through good documentation, it just means that the developers get to choose who uses/builds on their software

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Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@bgcarlisle Yes. YES. YASSSSSS

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@bgcarlisle This post makes me sad.

Because you're right, that is one of the consequences. But broadly insinuating that it's an intended one, or even a welcome one, is very unfair.

I doubt I'm the only developer who is sad about the state of his work's documentation.

Suggesting that we do it deliberately to keep people out... well, on the list of demoralizing things demanding users might say, that one ranks pretty high.

re: Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@hcs @bgcarlisle It is indeed tempting to treat user confusion as a UI bug which needs to be fixed, rather than something you just document and live with.

And given limited resources, if I can fix a buggy UI, or document it... I'd rather spend time fixing it.

Whether this is sane really depends on the app.

The support angle is obnoxious, but it's a "known bug" in the paid support business model.

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@brennen @bgcarlisle @hcs You can make the case that almost any limitation in a software project is excluding someone, somehow.

Lack of docs. Lack of translations. Lack of themes for the visually impaired. Accessibility. Performance. Instability. Cost. UX. Platforms.

Raising awareness of these factors is fine. Get them on the radar!

But the reason this stuff doesn't all get done isn't "gatekeeping". It's because it's a huge f'ing amount of work.

re: Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@hcs @brennen @bgcarlisle I agree with all that.

I'd just like to add fact that devs (and dev teams) are humans. Figuring out what is best is complicated, and people make mistakes.

Lots and lots of mistakes.

Tech gatekeeping and documentation 

@bgcarlisle Aaaaahhhhh if I hadn't had a Very Experienced Professional programmer at my service the other day to figure out findInterval's horrifying docs (stat.ethz.ch/R-manual/R-devel/) earlier this week, I'd still be waiting on calculations on those 10s of millions of rows in my data.

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