I agree it was impolite, I even told my wife I could have been more polite, but I will state once again that users get what they pay for. I’d be happy to write up documentation on OpenEMR if someone would be willing to pay me enough to cover my expenses to take care of myself, my wife, and my 7 children. Otherwise I try to write what documentation I can given the time I have.
I want to mention that the core focus of OpenEMR development right now has been getting through ONC certification and MU3 certification via CMS. If we stopped all development right now and focused on documenting the system, all those people who have donated to OpenEMR to help us get to certification will not see the benefit of their donations. At some point ONC will stop the hardship exemptions that people are currently using in the USA and all of those users will have to stop using OpenEMR if we do not get to certification. Unfortunately, we’ve had to prioritize development over documentation. If enough community members donated money earmarked specifically for product documentation, I’m sure the foundation would be happy to hire a technical writer to do what you would like to have happen. I’d guess that’d be somewhere in the realm of 20-30K to hire someone for 3-6 months to at least get some kind of basic end-user documentation that was nice and usable.
If, on the other hand the community doesn’t have that kind of funds then we rely upon time and skill donations from community members. Very few developers can write end-user documentation as its a very different skill set. I have done it before but I am 3-4X slower than your average technical writer. Every professional organization I have worked with that actually deals with ‘Release Management’ has dedicated technical writing staff to create end-user documentation. I try to write developer documentation and I am even spearheading efforts to provide developer training so we can grow the developer community. If we have more developers contributing to the project then some of us who at least have some technical writing skill sets can contribute back via documentation.
I will mention that I offered to write up documentation on the software I built for US ONC certification to the OpenEMR board as I consider that part of the package for delivering complete software. I estimated it would take an additional 2-4 weeks of time (that’s full time 40 hour weeks) to build the documentation for the piece I built for FHIR and I was specifically told NOT to do that. The board would save development time by working with the community to write up the documentation and to have myself move forward building the functionality we needed for ONC. I was told that the project needed to do that since we don’t have enough developers skilled/qualified enough to build out ONC requirements that meet federal regulation standards.