There is no end user documentation available for Gnome 43 online

I am having an extremely difficult time finding user documentation on the internet for recent Gnome versions. I am using version 43 on ubuntu. My specific issue that kicked off this search is that I was unable to find documentation on an accessibility setting called “Locate Pointer” - what it is, and how to use it. I tried using the Help menu in the settings dialog, but this did not contain any information on this accessibility setting so I went to the internet.

Looking for any end user documentation via was also less than helpful. The portal that the DOCUMENTATION link in the site footer directs you to located here just has a bunch of random seemingly unrelated things within it with no observable structure. This portal also explicitly mentions GNOME 3. Uh Oh. That is not the version I am using. In fact, the footer in this end user documentation portal is dated 2014. That is 8 years out of date. Is this really the official gnome end user documentation available online? Is there really no up to date documentation for the latest versions available through the site?

As an end user of gnome, I find it very frustrating being unable to find structured documentation for the latest Gnome online. The existing end user documentation portal being at least 8 years out of date is just not an acceptable state of affairs, full stop. How are users supposed to learn how to use the Gnome desktop? Are we all just on our own?

My expectation is that structured documentation of Gnome and its many systems be available online that can be read by a new user top to bottom. A broad introduction to Gnome and the interface, how to use it, navigate it, control it, use desktops, etc, gradually becoming more and more specific in each area the documentation covers. A full structured outline and reference to the end user experience should be available. This will enable users to easily find the documentation they require by drilling down into the relevant areas. Further, this enables discoverability of new features as the documentation would be readable from top to bottom.

In the end I was not able to actually find any official end user documentation for the current version of the project, nor was I able to figure out what the locate pointer accessibility setting I was searching for actually did. References to a documentation team lead to a nearly empty IRC channel and a dead mailing list.

What can be done about this?

Thank you for taking the time to read what was effectively a rant about Gnome. I understand I am being very critical of volunteer efforts, but I really like Gnome and I have high expectations for the user experience. A multitude of research, love, care, and effort is given to advancing the desktop UI, and it shows brilliantly. However it seems that the other side of the proverbial coin has been sadly neglected over the years.

The desktop help comes from the gnome-user-docs project, which is written by the GNOME Documentation Project. That wiki page needs some updates (mailinglists have been replaced with Discourse) and it links to the same GNOME Library - Users page that you already found. If on that page, under Desktop, you click on GNOME Help it takes you to online view of the help also available on your desktop. That is a well structured documentation I think.

I’m not involved with the documentation project so don’t know the what’s-what of it but I did find find this file:

It’s a “stub” so maybe that is why it’s not included in the desktop help. Why it is a stub, or what needs to be done with it for it to move out of the stub status, isn’t clear to me.

The very first link at the top is “A guide for GNOME 3 desktop users.” How is this unrelated?

But yes, online content is outdated. The offline help is maintained and preferable. There’s like a bug report about that problem in

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