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Okay, so the title’s a bit provocative and documentation for mission-critical software such as those used in aviation and powerplants must be better documented. But generally, I think web developers enjoy the highest standards of documentation in the software industry, with game developers “enjoying” the worst.

From my own limted experiences so far, web development frameworks have the most understandable, most friendly and most thorough documentation in the software development industry. You think I’m biased because I am a web developer.

Not so. My university education has not been about web development at all, instead focusing on games development, which is primarly done in C++ and other languages and frameworks geared towards game development. My experience with the documentation in the games development world has been a nightmare. My first bad experience was with the Unreal documentation. I spent 2 semesters working with Unreal and seriously I hope never to use it ever again. Ever. Actually during those 2 semesters I was playing with PHP and neglecting my Uni work a little. Later, I came to use open source physics engines. If Unreal was bad using the documentation for these engines was a trip through hell and back and to hell again. What annoys is highly incomplete documentation, but also partly pieces of example code completely taken out of context therefore, useless. Despite my majoring in games development it’s highly unlikely I’ll pursue that as a career, in part because of crappy documentation but largely because of the impossible-to-enter industry.

In contrast, look at the documentation for CakePHP, django, symfony, codeignitor and Ruby on Rails. I think it’s just a breath of fresh air!

The opinions presented in the post was based on my own limited experiences so far, and so may not be representative of reality. If you disagree (or agree), please post a comment. Change my opinion if you will.

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