A blog post on the company rename notes they’re in beta now.
A new and exciting way for devs to donate more free labor to businesses.
… instead of just contributing to the existing documentation for the projects…
Yeah - I have a hard time imagining the documentation staying up to date for the projects that actually need it. Popular projects already have documentation. Projects with few users won’t have any incentive to keep the SO docs up to date.
Examples and walkthroughs are a good middle ground between asking questions on Stackoverflow and the API documentation given as an example in the original post (other posters talk about examples as a possibility).
Providing a curated, relevant set of examples for a project might be achievable and is actually in SO’s wheelhouse - they already do this, more or less.
The contribution process and tools can be inhibitive so having a place to contribute outside the project is useful.
It could work for smaller projects though, eg. if one of my projects ever became popular I could move all the documentation from the source code folder or a website into Stack Overflow and either delete the original documentation or make it a mirror of the Stack Overflow content. If I could get help writing documentation for my projects I would gladly accept it. If I putting on Stack Overflow means more/anyone contributes anything at all then is an improvement on what I have currently :)
The labor doesn’t just help Stack Overflow. All user-submitted Stack Overflow content is Creative Commons licensed, so anyone can read it, share it, or even create a commercial competitor with the data (as long as attribution is given).
The attribution required is quite strange, it require a link to Stack Overflow even for a single content from a specific user.
I think the primary reason for this is to discourage people taking the Q&A data and creating spammy search hits with it.
I think the primary reason for this is to add incoming link to this for profit website.
And I didn’t claim it did.
Give it some time to find its place. I don’t think they should try to compete with the likes of readme.io. I think open source solutions like Jekyll (-as a wiki), Sphinx and GitBook are making more important headway in that regard.
But the “community powered examples” sounds very appealing. If they build this out in a way that it can neatly accommodate existing documentation as opposed to compete with it, this could work.