We do not deliberately make things difficult for people to start
with... we just do not have the resources to explain things in enough
detail, and to maintain all the info that we output and occasionally
I can see two factors playing a role here:
1) you want to keep the whole history of the project as it is, including unused/old branches and repositories
2) nobody has the time/resources to update developer documentation and provide tutorials for newcomers to the project
Neither of these would be a problem by itself, but IMHO it is the combination of these two factors that creates the general confusion.
Since the second point cannot be easily changed, have you considered whether keeping the complete history is really beneficial?
If CDK was my project, I would prefer to dump all the unused code/documents/data into a ZIP file somewhere in the website, and keep only cutting edge development in the source code repository. That way it would not be necessary to write documentation about
how things are organized, because every newcomer willing to contribute a small patch could easily orient himself.
Perhaps it might be interesting to hear what other CDK developers think about this..?