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disallow search engine indexing of trunk documentation #43

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dlo commented Sep 7, 2012

The end result of this data being indexed confuses newbies and is the source of an increasing number of invalid tickets in trac. More specifically:

  1. User searches to find info on a specific feature.
  2. Said feature is backwards incompatible with previous versions of Django.
  3. User does not know better, assumes Django has a bug.
  4. Invalid bug is filed in trac.

Hopefully, removing the dev documentation pages from search engines will help solve this issue, since those who want to read the dev docs can just click through to them by using the version navigation at the bottom of the docs pages.

disallow search engine indexing of trunk documentation
The end result of this data being indexed confuses newbies and is the source of
an increasing number of invalid tickets in trac. More specifically:

1. User searches to find info on a specific feature.
2. Said feature in development version is backwards incompatible with previous
versions of Django.
3. User does not know better, assumes Django has a bug.
4. Invalid bug is filed in trac.

Hopefully, removing the dev documentation pages from search engines will help
solve this issue, since those who want to read the dev docs can just click
through to them by using the version navigation at the bottom of the docs
pages.
Owner

apollo13 commented Sep 21, 2012

I am somewhat -0 on that, I use Google to search for Django stuff in the docs on a daily base and I want the dev docs…

And "Said feature is backwards incompatible with previous versions of Django." is usually documented.

Owner

aaugustin commented Nov 13, 2012

I'm also -0 on the idea, as explained on the ticket. Sorry!

@aaugustin aaugustin closed this Nov 13, 2012

dlo commented Nov 13, 2012

@apollo13 You are a core developer, so of course you will be looking for the dev documentation. But, this doesn't fit the use case for 99% of the other Django users. Most people don't run production sites on django-dev, so reading that documentation is silly.

Owner

apollo13 commented Nov 14, 2012

My time as normal user is by far longer than as a core-dev, when I answered here I answered as a user mostly. And how do you know that it doesn't fit for 99% of the users? Also: Why can't we expect users reading the docs to also read the "new in …" and "changed in …" markers. The problems you describe can mostly be solved by careful reading -- something imo every programmer should do.

dlo commented Nov 14, 2012

A lot of the people who stumble on to these docs from Google are learning how to become programmers. Some have just learned what Django is and are playing around. When they run pip install django and then something they search doesn't work, that can be very confusing, and yes, they may miss the notes. Blaming them on this is just denying human nature. People who aren't used to reading documentation may skip over that stuff, and might not think it's important.

I'm not saying the dev documentation should be wiped from Google. I'm more interested in turning it off as the default.

Owner

apollo13 commented Nov 14, 2012

I'm not saying the dev documentation should be wiped from Google. I'm more interested in turning it off as the default.

Denying it in robots.txt is essentially wiping it. Either way, I am somewhat 24/7 (overstated, but you get the meaning) in #django and it's probably once in a month that people are reading the wrong docs…

dlo commented Nov 14, 2012

Oops, didn't realize you hadn't checked the original ticket. The "solution" of wiping from Google with robots.txt is a bit over the top now that I have time to reflect on it. This PR is rightly denied, but I think the issue in itself needs a once-over.

Also, most newbies don't know what IRC is.

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