Fix/Report documentation mistakes when you find them!

Published on , 301 words, 2 minutes to read

This article was originally published on DEV

So, I've been in the web development space for around 6-7 years now, and in the more recent years I've also taken a knack at writing documentation, for mine as well as for other projects.

Something I noticed in spaces of bigger OSS project communities is that a lot of people complain a lot about documentation...and don't fix it.

People that complain either know that the documentation is wrong, or ran into an issue with the code snippet/guide presented.

If you managed to fix the problem in your project, you know what's there to adjust!

Now, there's multiple approaches to take here:

  • If you already have some experience contributing to projects, find the repository with your conflicting piece of documentation and open a Pull Request!
  • Don't feel comfortable contributing to the project yourself? Open an issue detailing your problem! If it's not someone of the project's contributors, maybe someone else will pick up the task and adjust the documentation.

As an example for this, I found (really) outdated documentation on implementing Babel with Rollup. Granted, I already knew of the newer packages, but so I decided to give the documentation a small makeover. Even with the review feedback I spent less than 15 minutes overall on this.

babel/website #2298: Update Rollup usage/setup guide

The time you spent finding a proper solution has probably been way longer than the time you need to spend for both of the above points, out your fellow developers before they end up stumbling over the same mistakes as you did. Not just them, but also the maintainers will thank you for it!