The Goal of Better Documentation

My projects would be improved if there was better documentation.  The best way I have found to document projects so far has been using a paper binder.  However I have also used One Note, the Color Note Android app, and have built my own technical content management system at https://evtechnote.us.  Even though it is password-protected I still don’t want to work online.

Something like One Note would really be the best system to use except it is not indexed very well.   Maybe I don’t know how to use it properly.  If I had a system that allowed all parts of a project to be classified properly these projects might be a better success.  Of course there is a system like that: it is called the file system.   We do not usually store a lot of metadata in the computer file system, so this is not a good way for us to create an outline of what we have.  Metadata are words to describe what we have, so that we can find that content again.

Cloud storage provides a unified file store but the best way I have found to keep track of content is my blog.  That is why I think that so many companies expect their employees to write in both a wiki and a blog.  I additionally found that using content management systems (CMS) that allow one to store content in the cloud can be very useful.  No longer to we have to work about what cloud we are on – the content is on one domain.  But when one starts to have a number of different data types on the system, or programs that one uses, using a CMS becomes difficult.

Meanwhile, though I have worked pretty hard on some aspects of the topic of organizing and linking different file systems that are present in my house: Linux, Windows, MacIntosh, the topic of interoperability has proven to be beyond my control.   Several times I have succeeded in using SAMBA, an open-source project that is intended to “Open Windows to a Wider World,” namely Linux.  I have shared Linux drives with Windows and have been able to authenticate (that is, login) Windows machines with Linux.  I have not worked as hard to link Apple with Windows or Linux.  Logging into Apple Cloud from Windows 10 proved to be very remedial, so far. More often than not, I am ashamed to admit, I have had to resort to sneaker-net (the use of a thumb drive that one carries around) or emails to transfer files between machines.

Topics that I have not covered in this post include backup and recovery.  All hard drives eventually fail and our links to cloud storage can be severed: when this happens a locally available backup might be helpful.  The greater file systems are integrated, the easier this backup challenge, but there is a need for security as well.  Sometimes it is better not to make data more accessible.  All of these things make the goal of greater computer interoperability and availability all the more difficult.