Dear Developers, Don’t Forget Offline Documentation

This is going to be an uncharacteristically short post for this blog. I have something important to say, but it isn’t very complicated. Basically, I want other software developers to remember that people sometimes want to write code when they do not have an Internet connection.

I ride the train to work every day. While I am commuting, it would be very nice if I were able to work on various software projects. It is very easy to setup a development environment on my laptop to actually get work done, but it is not easy to get the documentation. Most documentation these days is, understandably, done online, often in a wiki.

Online documentations is awesome, and definitely needs to stick around. However, offline documentation should not suffer. It’s not too difficult to make some sort of weekly, or even monthly, cron job that exports the online documentation into some sort of offline format. Even just static HTML with proper links is enough. Yes, I know there are scripts to download wikis, and also wget -r, but they are usually not satisfactory.

Not everyone has an Internet connection all the time. When working with new frameworks and libraries, documentation is a necessity. I’m sure there are plenty of other developers out there like myself who would very much like to have documentation available offline. Please don’t forget us.

I’m looking at you Javascript library and web framework people. You know who you are.

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