Establishing the foundation for feedback

published on 11 January 2021

Dec 3, 2019

The first feature and focus of kmdr has been to deliver a break down of commands with every attribute explained. After 100 days in the wild, we have a base from which we can now explore new features and engage in more pathfinding. Here’s one view of our road here:


kmdr v0.1: Get it out!

We launched able to explain the commands of about 50 programs. The command explanations were sourced from manual pages using an imperfect parser which meant a lot of data needed refinement. The initial release was enough to prove that users 1) found value in easily accessing command explanations, and 2) were willing to install a program in the terminal to access the description breakdown.

kmdr v0.2: The grind

We took on the task of improving the quality of definitions with human verification. This meant comparing the output of our parser with official online documentation when it existed, and `--help` on the occasions docs weren’t available. After doing this, we set to extend coverage. We made a huge list of programs we wanted to cover. We prioritized against what we understood to be the most popular, basing our list on websites like tldr pages, a plethora of articles, and things we ran everyday in our own terminals. We had achieved coverage on 200 programs, organized across 18 categories, before we had reached a critical mass of users and could iterate instead based on usage and feedback.

kmdr v0.3: Finding patterns

With a log of queries surpassing 2,700 we are now able to invest resources (aka our free time) where we have data to support value-add. We also have the data to support slowing investments and focusing instead on pathfinding. From missing program definitions to OS’s, package managers, and shells to support, usage data and real user feedback helps us prioritize and informs our next steps. We now know what the most popular programs are and know that their descriptions are covered. This knowledge allowed us to extend the learning experience and provide concise examples for these programs. We also are seeing that the web-based demo accounts for more than 35% of usage. This gives us confidence in our next move toward a GUI.

Use kmdr today to better understand CLI commands and be more productive from your terminal. Join the 20% of our users who provide feedback and help us shape the future of this product!


Read more

Runs on Unicorn Platform