AlexT
Actually there is already defined format for readme file for every Dolphin mod:

http://www.boonex.com/trac/dolphin/wiki/DolphinExtensionReq#ReadmeFiles

It splits into 4 main sections:
- Product owner info
- Product info
- Installation manual
- User manual

This is wiki page, so everyone can edit it. It is very short now, I see that you have some good examples to add, so feel free to edit it. Please leave the above 4 sections (just edit it, by adding examples, description, etc), add more see more optional sections, like notes, troubleshooting - it will encourage developers to add it to the every mod, so it will be less frustration from customers.

We are trying to force all developers to follow the standard, but we don't check every mod - so we have to rely on developers that they will follow it.
From out side - during mod certification process we check the mod for the standards and all certified mods are comply with these rules.
Kingphish
Thanks AlexT. Yeah, I see now that folks on here don't like rules (even the small ones), but non-burdensome rules make things easier for everyone, and a format for installation instructions is not burdensome. BURDENSOME is having to go back to a developer-seller multiple times for clarification on their instructions.

I suggest all buyers demand a copy of the instructions PRIOR to purchasing any product. There is definitely a TRUST issue with developers on here and their reluctance to do the minimal see more things that are asked of them. I've purchased $200 of mods in the market since January (2011) reluctantly, and intend to spend more, but I can't trust that I'll get what I need from the market, so I'm developing my own listing of trusted developers. I WOULD RECOMMEND ALL BUYERS (especially the news one) to do the same. If a developer-seller is unwilling to meet minimum requirements, they are not deserving of business.

"Damn it Superman, Bizarro strikes again."

As to what can be done -- enforce the rules; they are not burdensome. Don't allow them to sell in the Market if they don't conform. Also, give them at least ONE EXAMPLE of what is expected with regards to the Installation Instructions so they can have a sense of what they are doing right or wrong. There is no physical reference point, so they'll do things different, which is the reason why there is so much variance. And, it would be helpful to say more (rather than less) under each of the bullet points to explain what is needed.
Kingphish
Also, I'd like to see Boonex link content to other blogs and forums on the subject, so while someone is reading the Wiki they are able to pull up via popup window real life examples. For example, if I am reading the above Wiki, I would be click on the wordlink (via popup) to see a member-produced forum that's related to the word (e.g., user manual).
 
 
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.
PET:0.087146997451782