For a lot of programmers, writing an application is fun, but writing its manual is not. Adding new features, refining the product, and responding to users' input are all more rewarding than writing instructions on how to use the software. However, good documentation is necessary to have happy, informed users who can contribute meaningfully to future development. A few months ago, Gilbert Ashley, the author of src2pkg (Slackware's "magic package maker") invited me and two other people to help him manage the user documentation for his program. The process we used to create the src2pkg wiki may be a useful example for other free and open source software (FOSS) application developers.
So in this two-part series we're going to dig into the newly-released Ubuntu Server 7.10, take a look at its feature set and system requirements, and decide if it is a worthy contender in the Linux server stack category. I've been running it long to enough to say that it has some very attractive features, and it does a number of things better than anyone else. But it has a major flaw, the same flaw that has bedeviled Ubuntu since its inception: incomplete and hard-to-find documentation, especially Ubuntu-specific documentation.