What I really learned from JavaOne ...

... is that it is hard to find information. Person comes up to the Sun Studio booth at JavaOne asking if the Sun Studio C compiler has a compiler option similar to an option in gcc. Well, let's look at the compiler documentation for Sun Studio 11. I know we had worked on a list of compiler options by language and platform. Go to Sun Studio 11 documentation page on developers.sun.com. Can't find the link. Use Google searching for Sun Studio compiler options on developers.sun.com, which points back to the original docs page where I couldn't find the link. It's here somewhere, let me keep looking. Meanwhile, the person who asked the question is looking on.

Another person offers to join the hunt. I know we have compiler options in the Sun Studio books on docs.sun.com. So this person starts to navigate through the convoluted path looking for the Sun Studio docs collection. Oh dear, there is no link to Sun Studio from the docs.sun.com main page. Used be a bit easier to find the Sun Studio docs. Watching the workarounds this person is following to navigate through the docs.sun.com site leaves me thinking how many workarounds have people implemented to try to get to our docs? How many people give up? How many people don't even know that we have information on these topics?

By this time, a third person steps in to say this is taking way too long. I just want to show a demo of the Performance Analyzer.

Later, I found the link to the page I was looking for (http://developers.sun.com/sunstudio/documentation/ss11/opts/index.html) through another Google search.

One theme of the JavaOne keynote was connecting everybody through devices, information, services, software. For us to do that, we need to look at the information needs of a broad range of people. How can we develop and deliver information that meets the needs of a person using a cell phone to a person using a large-scale system behind a firewall at a secure site with no internet access? If we are to be successful here, I'd like to think we at least have a handle of making it easy for people using the current devices we support to access the current information we provide. Will be some interesting discussions here.

Part of my message as we plan for these changing business needs is that it is of no value to create information people cannot find. It is of no value to have sites where you can't find the information you need. It is of no value if the information is not in a form that you can use. It is of no value if the information does not help you answer the questions you ask or help you to solve the problems you need to solve.

This is a partnership between the people within Sun and the communities we support with our information. The real value in the information we provide is realized when you can find and use that information, and that information has met your needs. Until that time, it is just a link in a list.

Comments:

Damn right!
Lets go improve information retrieval for SunStudio by a few orders of magnitude; I'm with you, Dave!

Posted by Vijay Tatkar on May 09, 2007 at 04:01 AM PDT #

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