My 5 Minute Rule for Documentation

Submitted by Jon on Fri, 08/29/2008 - 12:59

I have a policy which I follow religiously regarding when to document something, which I promote to my co-workers when training them on the staff wikis I create wherever I go -- and trust me, I leave wikis like a trail of breadcrumbs in every organization I touch. I've made wikis for my Peace Corps group, my grad school program, UT's Office of Technology Commercialization, CrisisLink, and Youth Service America, and myself of course.

My rule is that if something takes you more than 5 minutes to figure out, it's worth a few second on the wiki - if absolutely nothing more than to jot down the key ah-ha!s so as to provide a roadmap to others. Ideally you add in a lot more guidance around that, but we all know how documentation generally goes.

But even that 30-second note can remind you, or whoever takes over your position when you move on, with a shortcut through the (re-)learning curve, and it's saved me countless times. And if you do it in the moment of post-revelation euphoria, it gives you a perfect opportunity to reflect on the process and see if, in your excitement of getting something working, you've left out an important step. Really, it's made of win all around.

In that spirit, I don't have a better place to stick this information, so I'll just post it here. I'm generally all for categorization and such, but google will cover my a$$ when I'm lazy.

I just spent far too many minutes (ok, hours) trying to get Drupal to show maps with specific taxonomy terms filtered. I first thought I could just replace the /node after /map with /term/4 or /taxonomy/term/4 - and indeed, this will work, but only if you set up a new view (gmap view type) with (at a bare minimum) Lat/Long as fields and Taxomomy term ID (or name) as an argument. It's that simple (cough) but not clear and I found it exceptionally difficult to google on, though I eventually found a lot of resources on doing maps by taxonomy term by searching google for gmap view.