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Burdette Lamar
Burdette Lamar

Posted on

A Choice

I have a choice to make:

  • Write about Ruby here on DEV, as I've sometimes done.
  • Contribute to RubyDoc.

For example, I've recently worked on (and just posted) a piece about Ruby's class Exception:

I wrote it to provide documentation for the class that includes lots of illustrative code -- more that what's offered in the RubyDoc:

Now I've discovered that I could instead have offered improved example code for the RubyDoc page itself. It turns out that over at, anyone can submit documentation patches.

Contributing there would have a far greater reach than anywhere else, because RubyDoc is where people go to find out about Ruby, and because RubyDoc is always high in Google's search results.

I can't be proud of my hesitation:

  • Here, I'm me.
  • In the RubyDoc, I'd be anonymous.

I have to ask myself:

  • Do I want to be seen?
  • Or do I want to make a bigger difference?

(I think I know what's the right thing.)

Top comments (1)

baweaver profile image
Brandon Weaver

In my personal case I tend to contribute differently to the two. RubyDoc tends to be straightforward examples while an article can be a more in depth dive into the nuances of something that doesn't have to be nearly as formal.

So I suppose for me the answer is: why not both?