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Re: documentation and FUNCTIONAL clarity

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  • bryllars@concentric.net
    It is Rick Friedline s attitude that is holding up the computer industry and permits a Bill Gates to absorb everything like a mushroom. He says ... The point
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
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      It is Rick Friedline's attitude that is holding up the computer industry and permits a
      Bill Gates to absorb everything like a mushroom.
      He says
      >So spend some time with the NTP documentation and special help files.
      >Come and ask your questions here. But don't demand something more from
      >someone who has provided a top-notch program and sells it for a
      >whopping $20 - or gives it away free.

      The point is not a question about the individual - but learning and laying out
      clearly for people who do not - or can no longer stand reading all the documentation
      and that means having almost to memorize it because one does not at the time know
      which functions one is going to need
      the essentials of the software that one can find on demand
      No one is asking Eric to go and write documentation - it's already written anyway,
      just poorly organized for the stranger.

      These are normal standards in any other field involving communication with the public
      but somehow in computers it is the customer's fault. Stop it.

      Bryllars




      At 09:23 PM 12/4/01 -0600, you wrote:
      >At 05:27 PM 12/4/01, bryllars@... wrote:
      >
      >>Bryllars NOW writes:
      >>
      >> The problem is not that it is not there somehow --
      >> But how would I have a clue that what I need is under the REPLACE
      >> dialogue
      >>unless I can browse or word search some kind of Help / Text file to
      >>FIND OUT.
      >
      >By reading through the documentation to get a feel for what the program
      >can do. The same as any other software.
      >
      >>The "Wonderful Job" is good for nothing unless I can find it.
      >>All this help and command info and menu info should - I repeat -
      >>be copied into a text file than can be searched
      >> and organized into a FUNCTIONAL list
      >
      >Bollocks! A FUNCTIONAL list as you describe would be impossible to
      >write unless the writer had a crystal ball. You don't say what you
      >would "search" for above ... I can't guess that search term
      >successfully. So how can someone write to the unknown workings of every
      >mind.
      >
      >So you came here, asked the question and told that what you needed was
      >under the "Replace" option. Let's see, the Menu bar has Search and when
      >you select Search low and behold you have a Replace option. Pretty
      >damned intuitive if you ask me. Did you write to Microsoft and ask them
      >to write a FUNCTIONAL list so you could find out where Search & Replace
      >is?
      >
      >How much time have you spent with NoteTab Pro (I am assuming that you
      >are using Pro since I can't believe anyone would be asking for the
      >things you're asking for if they hadn't at least paid for the program)?
      >Not enough is my guess.
      >
      >It isn't your questions, or your requests, that irritate me - it's your
      >tone of entitlement and condescension that puts me off (maybe it
      >doesn't bother anyone else; I won't presume to speak for anyone but
      >myself.)
      >
      >>As I said:
      >>A special FUNCTIONAL guide and list needs to be written - so that ANY
      >>user
      >>can figure out where to go for ALL these functions.
      >
      >Go for it. Copy the help file pages and compile them into one huge text
      >document. I'll bet you still can't find what you're looking for since
      >you don't seem to know exactly how to query it.
      >
      >So spend some time with the NTP documentation and special help files.
      >Come and ask your questions here. But don't demand something more from
      >someone who has provided a top-notch program and sells it for a
      >whopping $20 - or gives it away free.
      >
      >Regards,
      > Rick
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >_________________________________________________________
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      >
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      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Rick Friedline
      Sir, you have quoted me out of context, ignored the main points of my argument, and lowered yourself to ad hominem argument.It is clear to me that your
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
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        Sir, you have quoted me out of context, ignored the main points of my
        argument, and lowered yourself to ad hominem argument.

        It is clear to me that your comments below simply prove my point.

        It is impolite to change subject lines unless the subject has indeed
        changed. It is also impolite to email a cc: of your post unless
        expressly invited to do so. You are NOT invited to do so.

        You are simply whining. Stop it!

        I have nothing further to add to this silly thread ...

        My apologies to the rest of the list.

        Rick

        At 10:39 PM 12/4/01, bryllars@... wrote:

        >It is Rick Friedline's attitude that is holding up the computer
        >industry and permits a
        >Bill Gates to absorb everything like a mushroom.
        >He says
        > >So spend some time with the NTP documentation and special help
        > files.
        > >Come and ask your questions here. But don't demand something more
        > from
        > >someone who has provided a top-notch program and sells it for a
        > >whopping $20 - or gives it away free.
        >
        >The point is not a question about the individual - but learning and
        >laying out
        >clearly for people who do not - or can no longer stand reading all the
        >documentation
        >and that means having almost to memorize it because one does not at
        >the time know
        >which functions one is going to need
        > the essentials of the software that one can find on demand
        > No one is asking Eric to go and write documentation - it's already
        > written anyway,
        >just poorly organized for the stranger.
        >
        > These are normal standards in any other field involving
        > communication with the public
        >but somehow in computers it is the customer's fault. Stop it.


        _________________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Get your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.com
      • Jim Hall
        Bryllars ... It seems to me that you have a pretty good idea of what is needed. Since the majority of this documentation is written BY the list users FOR the
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 5, 2001
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          Bryllars

          At 11:39 PM 12/4/01 -0500, you wrote:
          >No one is asking Eric to go and write documentation - it's already written
          >anyway,
          >just poorly organized for the stranger.
          >
          > These are normal standards in any other field involving
          > communication with the public
          >but somehow in computers it is the customer's fault. Stop it.


          It seems to me that you have a pretty good idea of what is needed.

          Since the majority of this documentation is written BY the list users FOR
          the list users, I for one would be happy to see you organize it in a manner
          you find suitable and distribute it to all of the rest of the users. I'm
          sure the new users would be most appreciative of your efforts.

          I would be happy to supply you with the dribs and drabs I've managed to
          accumulate if it would help you in your efforts, and I'm sure that there
          are many others on the list who would as well.

          Looking forward to seeing your first draft.


          Regards,

          Jim
        • Bryan Guignard
          I missed the beginning of this thread, so forgive me if I m missing the point. If I m getting this right, then it appears there is a need for organizing all
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 5, 2001
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            I missed the beginning of this thread, so forgive me if I'm missing the point.
            If I'm getting this right, then it appears there is a need for organizing all
            the NoteTab knowledge being produced into something more intuitive and
            accessible.

            If someone is willing to send me all the information, preferably as plain text
            then I would be quite happy to convert it all to PDF and index it. A well
            indexed PDF library has no equals. It's easily compressed so it remains small,
            searches are lightning fast even on slow systems, it's platform independent, and
            with tools like Acrobat or Gymnast tons of text documents are converted to PDF
            with a few mouse clicks.

            If you have something to send me please contact me before doing so to make sure
            I haven't received the same thing from someone else.

            My email is bryang@...


            Bryan Guignard




            Jim Hall wrote:

            > Bryllars
            >
            > At 11:39 PM 12/4/01 -0500, you wrote:
            > >No one is asking Eric to go and write documentation - it's already written
            > >anyway,
            > >just poorly organized for the stranger.
            > >
            > > These are normal standards in any other field involving
            > > communication with the public
            > >but somehow in computers it is the customer's fault. Stop it.
            >
            > It seems to me that you have a pretty good idea of what is needed.
            >
            > Since the majority of this documentation is written BY the list users FOR
            > the list users, I for one would be happy to see you organize it in a manner
            > you find suitable and distribute it to all of the rest of the users. I'm
            > sure the new users would be most appreciative of your efforts.
            >
            > I would be happy to supply you with the dribs and drabs I've managed to
            > accumulate if it would help you in your efforts, and I'm sure that there
            > are many others on the list who would as well.
            >
            > Looking forward to seeing your first draft.
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            > Jim
            >
            >
            > To unsubscribe click on address below and send the message empty:
            > mailto:notetab-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/list/notetab
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • Kenneth Leake
            This is probably starting to drift OT, but I d argue that something which is the equal of a well indexed PDF file, is a well indexed Help file. Isn t this what
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 5, 2001
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              This is probably starting to drift OT, but I'd argue that something which is the equal of a well indexed PDF file, is a well indexed Help file. Isn't this what we've got already? Maybe just the Index could do with an overhaul.

              I've got to confess I find Notetab so easy to use that I don't refer to the Help file very often!

              regards
              Ken Leake

              >>> bryang@... 05/12/01 15:25:31 >>>
              ... A well indexed PDF library has no equals. It's easily compressed so it remains small,
              searches are lightning fast even on slow systems, it's platform independent, and
              with tools like Acrobat or Gymnast tons of text documents are converted to PDF
              with a few mouse clicks.
            • bryllars@concentric.net
              Let me be clearer - I have no objection to anything about Notetab that the programmers could fix. (There are Windows problems with the way text files are
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 5, 2001
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                Let me be clearer - I have no objection to anything about Notetab that the programmers could
                fix. (There are Windows problems with the way text files are handled)
                Nor am I criticizing the help files per se.
                There IS a difference between clarifying menus and explaining terms and commands
                and organizing things under FUNCTION = what you want to do.
                Make double space etc etc
                In those terms it is sometimes hard to find what you need.
                (This is not unique to Notetab) In the long run help files need to be organized
                for funtions the users want to perform. Not for knowledgeable computer types
                who know everything already. (Pardon the testiness but I've gotten some insulting
                letters in reply to what seems a simple idea)

                That's all
                Bryllars


                At 04:43 PM 12/5/01 +0000, you wrote:
                >This is probably starting to drift OT, but I'd argue that something which is the equal of a well indexed PDF file, is a well indexed Help file. Isn't this what we've got already? Maybe just the Index could do with an overhaul.
                >
                >I've got to confess I find Notetab so easy to use that I don't refer to the Help file very often!
                >
                >regards
                >Ken Leake
                >
                >>>> bryang@... 05/12/01 15:25:31 >>>
                >... A well indexed PDF library has no equals. It's easily compressed so it remains small,
                >searches are lightning fast even on slow systems, it's platform independent, and
                >with tools like Acrobat or Gymnast tons of text documents are converted to PDF
                >with a few mouse clicks.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >To unsubscribe click on address below and send the message empty:
                >mailto:notetab-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >http://groups.yahoo.com/list/notetab
                >
                >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Eric G.V. Fookes
                Hello Bryllars, ... The problem is that there are an endless number of tasks you can perform with NoteTab. And not one person is using NoteTab the same way or
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 5, 2001
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                  Hello Bryllars,

                  >Let me be clearer - I have no objection to anything about Notetab that the
                  >programmers could
                  >fix. (There are Windows problems with the way text files are handled)
                  >Nor am I criticizing the help files per se.
                  >There IS a difference between clarifying menus and explaining terms and
                  >commands
                  > and organizing things under FUNCTION = what you want to do.
                  > Make double space etc etc
                  > In those terms it is sometimes hard to find what you need.
                  > (This is not unique to Notetab) In the long run help files need to
                  > be organized
                  >for funtions the users want to perform. Not for knowledgeable computer types
                  >who know everything already.

                  The problem is that there are an endless number of tasks you can perform
                  with NoteTab. And not one person is using NoteTab the same way or for the
                  same purposes. Of course, I admit the Help file is not perfect. I could
                  easily spend my whole time just improving the information but that is not
                  where my skills lie (to be honest, I really prefer programming <g>.) So we
                  have these great NoteTab discussion lists (thanks Jody) that give
                  NoteTabbers an opportunity to help each other. If you have a specific task
                  to perform and don't know how to go about it, then start a discussion on
                  one of the NoteTab lists. Most of the time you'll get the answers you need.


                  Regards,
                  Eric G.V. Fookes
                  Author of NoteTab, Mailbag Assistant, and Album Express
                  http://www.fookes.com/ and http://www.notetab.com/







                  ...
                • Jody
                  Hi Tabbers, There are links to different files for help with various parts of NoteTab below my long rambling if anybody wants to just skip over it and
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 6, 2001
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                    Hi 'Tabbers,

                    There are links to different files for help with various parts of
                    NoteTab below my long rambling if anybody wants to just skip over
                    it and download.

                    Bryllars and others posting under the Subject "documentation and
                    FUNCTIONAL clarity" thank you for "toning your voice down" a bit
                    on this thread for it is really appreciated. I'm sorry about the
                    flames that you may have received off the list and on the list,
                    but I can understand why you did. It is sort of like somebody
                    telling your kid sister she is fat when you are standing there
                    with her if you know what I mean. Most this stuff is wasted time
                    anyway since Eric will be rewriting the Help file for v5. I
                    thought I'd put my 2 cents in now to help explain some things for
                    all reading.

                    I agree with just about everything said going your way and part
                    of what you posted. Jim Hall basically posted what I was going
                    to say along with reiterating some of the statement that the task
                    you want to achieve is simply impossible. I also include RS'
                    correct statement knowing that NoteTab's Help file is one of the
                    best I have ever seen. I actually reference it since it does
                    have useful information in it and it is well laid out (especially
                    when comparing it with other Help files). All that is contrary
                    to a Bill Gates attitude. You will not find many programmers
                    answering discussion list mail at all, let alone as much as Eric
                    does. Eric, some others, and myself know that the program Eric
                    uses to make the index with does not index a lot of words so
                    there are some keywords "missing" that should be indexed. Some,
                    or a fair amount of the Help file was edited by Ray Fitzgerald
                    and some other "old timers", many users corrections, and other
                    parts rewritten by users. Look at it this way, the more time
                    Eric spends doing something he does not like doing like the Help
                    file the more time he has to program. Most users would much
                    rather have factuality over documentation. We could do everything
                    you want and more and we will still have a great many unhappy
                    campers. You are basically asking for more of a tutorial than a
                    regular Help file. A searchable all text version is easy to get
                    like I think I have already mentioned on the other thread this
                    was on before you renamed it.

                    I mentioned the other day to get the RTF version and then save it
                    as TXT. You can search it with regular expressions (RegExp) and
                    perhaps a Clip that will do AND, OR, NOT (which I have) or even
                    use a neat tool for searching and learning with RegExp called
                    Ransack. I will post a Clip or two and give a link for the
                    freeware on the Clips list in a later post. (See link in my
                    sigline to get on the Clips list. You can sign up and set your
                    options to NoMail/Web or whatever they are calling it now-a-
                    days.)

                    NoteTab's Glossary
                    NoteTab Glossary, Edition 1.7
                    Last updated on 08-31-2001
                    Glossary.otl 85.41KB
                    http://www.notetab.net/zip/glossary.zip 35.17KB

                    Clipbar Help
                    Clipbar.html 28.96KB
                    http://www.notetab.net/html/clipbar.htm 28.76KB

                    Clipbar Outline
                    Same as above, but in Outline form
                    Clipbar.otl 17.80KB
                    http://www.notetab.net/zip/cbarotl.zip 5.28KB

                    ClipClass: last updated on 08-27-2001, 11:26am (Lesson 10)
                    Ongoing lessons for Clip building
                    ClipClass.clb 54.59KB
                    ClipClass.otl 134.26KB
                    Toolbar.txt 18.09KB
                    Program layout (focused on Clip writing - online)
                    http://www.notetab.net/clipclass/starting.htm
                    The following are in clipclass.zip
                    http://www.notetab.net/clipclass/cbarotl.zip 12.57KB
                    http://www.notetab.net/clipclass/tooltips.zip 3.42KB
                    http://www.notetab.net/clipclass/clipclass.zip 305.46KB

                    Well done v4.86 full Help file in CHM format.
                    Need IE to use the file type, but much better
                    than HLP format: by Hugo <paulissen@...> 273.77KB
                    http://www.notetab.net/zip/help486chm.zip 260.78KB

                    I have the Help file in RTF format for printing. Actually, two
                    versions of it. The first is a complete version (help486lg.zip)
                    and the smaller one has all the information that is not needed for
                    its use like legal, ordering, acknowledgements, etc. deleted
                    (zip/help486sm.zip). You could delete the Clip information as
                    well. Then only print what you actually need saving probably over
                    100 sheets of paper and other text just getting in your way.
                    Here's the links in case you are interested and is available free
                    at this time:

                    Complete NoteTab Help file in RTF format:
                    Can be edited for printing
                    http://www.notetab.net/zip/help486lg.zip 129.00KB
                    Partial NoteTab Help file in RTF format
                    Ordering information, Legal, etc. omitted
                    http://www.notetab.net/zip/help486sm.zip 107.00KB

                    Complete NoteTab Help file in HTML format (Will update later)
                    http://www.notetab.net/zip/help483htm.zip 348.10KB

                    Searchable Clip Help from NoteTab's Help File
                    Must have Internet Explorer Installed
                    NTBhelp483.chm 177.09KB
                    http://www.notetab.net/zip/help483chm.zip 154.57KB

                    The latest PDF file I have is v4.84 done by Bryan. I will get
                    with him and see if he will update it for us. He is a very busy
                    and expensive man, so I for one greatly appreciate the time he
                    has been taking to do the Help file in PDF. So, if you can
                    afford $500.00-$1000.00 an hour for consulting fees on Adobe he
                    is your man indeed! Bryan Guignard <bryang@...>

                    Happy NoteTab'n,
                    Jody Adair

                    The NoteTabbers Assistant Page
                    http://www.notetab.net

                    The NoteTab Basic Discussion List
                    mailto:NoteTab-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    mailto:NoteTab-UnSubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/notetab
                  • Greg Chapman
                    ... I ve said this enough before but... The only problem with the HELP file is that it s written like a book, not a context sensitive, click-by-click help
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 6, 2001
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                      > This is probably starting to drift OT, but I'd argue that
                      > something which is the equal of a well indexed PDF file, is a
                      > well indexed Help file. Isn't this what we've got already? Maybe
                      > just the Index could do with an overhaul.

                      I've said this enough before but...

                      The only problem with the HELP file is that it's written like a book, not a
                      context sensitive, click-by-click help file. (But then I hate most of
                      those that I've seen - with Paint Shop Pro being one of the worst/best
                      example of its kind.)

                      If you read through the NOTETAB help file from start to end (Either get one
                      of the OTL format versions or insert the following lines in your WIN.INI:

                      [Windows Help]
                      SeqTopicKeys=1

                      and use the keys:
                      CTRL-HOME
                      CTRL-END
                      CTRL-RIGHTARROW
                      CTRL-LEFTARROW
                      to scroll through it) you will find that it's arranged as a very well
                      ordered, and complete, book.

                      The problem for most new users is either:

                      They were expecting to find that NOTETAB was a word processor, or that it's
                      terminology is strange. The only answer to the former is education and the
                      latter a good index using a lot of non-NOTETAB terms to help those not used
                      to it.

                      Maybe having the help file in HTMLHELP format rather than WINHELP format
                      would help?

                      Greg
                    • Stephen Riddle
                      Hi Guys, When you first use a Help File (any Help file, not Just NoteTab s), you get an option to make a detailed word list for searching. I always try to do
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 11, 2001
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                        Hi Guys,
                        When you first use a Help File (any Help file, not Just NoteTab's), you
                        get an option to make a detailed word list for searching.
                        I always try to do that, because the Table of Contents for any Help file
                        I've ever encountered just suggests where things are for me.
                        If, however I've not asked for a detailed database, I have no idea how
                        to make it detailed.
                        Good luck,
                        Stephen

                        > >> But how would I have a clue that what I need is under the REPLACE
                        > >> dialogue
                        > >>unless I can browse or word search some kind of Help / Text file to
                        > >>FIND OUT.
                        >
                        >
                      • hpaulissen
                        Stephen, I do not know if this is true for all help-files but in NoteTab-help you can go to the index-tab and hit the rebuild-button. Here you will find the
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 12, 2001
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                          Stephen,

                          I do not know if this is true for all help-files but in NoteTab-help
                          you can go to the index-tab and hit the rebuild-button. Here you will
                          find the option to minimize database size/maximize search
                          capabilities/customize search capabilities...

                          HTH,

                          Hugo

                          > If, however I've not asked for a detailed database, I have no idea
                          how
                          > to make it detailed.
                          > Good luck,
                          > Stephen
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