The community has spent a lot of time optimizing features over the years. Excellent examples include parallel query and partitioning which have been multi-year efforts to increase the quality, performance, and extend features of the original commit. We should consider the documentation in a similar manner. Just like code, documentation can sometimes use a bug fix, optimization, and/or new features added to the original implementation.
Technical documentation should only be as verbose as needed to illustrate the concept or task that we are explaining. It should not be redundant, nor should it use .50 cent words when a .10 cent word would suffice. I would like to put effort into optimizing the documentation and am requesting general consensus that this would be a worthwhile effort before I begin to dust off my Docbook skills.
I have provided an example below:
Original text (79 words):
This book is the official documentation of PostgreSQL. It has been written by the PostgreSQL developers and other volunteers in parallel to the development of the PostgreSQL software. It describes all the functionality that the current version of PostgreSQL officially supports.
To make the large amount of information about PostgreSQL manageable, this book has been organized in several parts. Each part is targeted at a different class of users, or at users in different stages of their PostgreSQL experience:
Optimized text (35 words):
This is the official PostgreSQL documentation. It is written by the PostgreSQL community in parallel with the development of the software. We have organized it by the type of user and their stages of experience:
Issues that are resolved with the optimized text:
- Succinct text is more likely to be read than skimmed
- Removal of extraneous mentions of PostgreSQL
- Removal of unneeded justifications
- Joining of two paragraphs into one that provides only the needed information to the user
- Word count decreased by over 50%. As changes such as these are adopted it would make the documentation more consumable.
I have posted this example to -hackers. What are your thoughts?