Whether you're an active developer busy doing some Java, Ruby, Perl or ( fill in your language here ) based projects, you'll most likely have some kind of browser windows opened sometimes providing you with the necessary documentation for libraries or ( but hopefully not ) language basics.
Because I'm not in love with one language and used to switching back and forth between several of them, I tend to forget some details about built-in classes etc.. It's certainly o.k. to have the documentation for such features available somewhere on the web, but I'd love to be able to simply download bundles for a language in a "documentation reader". Open format ( there are lots of them that would suit this application ), simple to transform anything to it via xsl or something comparable, and it would just work ( even offline ).
I won't claim to start a new project here as I'm already quite busy doing the rest, and celebrating new years eve, but if somebody is looking for a challenge, here it is.
This subject shows another important aspect of usability. Usability shouldn't stop at the Users place. Developers are users, too. And happy users tend to be more loyal and happy, a goal certainly worth achieving.
Edit: Now the night has finally arrived, and I think the following tasks should be completed before any such project can be forged.
- Define an open format for efficiently saving Language Documentation. Keep in mind that language documentation differs in structure depending on what kind of language is documented. Object oriented languages need other formats or present other structures than procedural or functional ones.
- Create scripts that convert existing documentation into that new format. XSL is a powerful friend here. No one will ever take care about a cool project without a funky demo.
- Build clients that are eaasssyy to use for all major platforms. I'm talking about smooth integration ( e.g. a spotlight plugin for OS X ), not some dirty hack.
- Tell all your programmer friends.
Thats it. But I'm still not ( yet ) interested in doing it by myself, but if anybody wants to do it, don't bother contacting me. Sleep well.
Edit: found this link, like it.