About Help Files
- Hi All,
(LaurieK, I was not picking on you about not deleting text not
needed to understand your reply. If you or others need to have
the text there to reply to which I do, I just delete as I go and
remove all signature lines.)
Here is my two cents on Help files, and that is all it is, my
opinion whether you agree with me or not. For those of you who
are not reading the Help file threads, you can now filter on the
words in this Subject or simply delete them. There is a link to
the latest edition of the NoteTab Glossary at the end of this
post in case you are interested.
As I have mentioned, NoteTab's Help file will be rewritten for
version five. Please send all comments about the Help file to
feedback@... or to firstname.lastname@example.org for
best results to get your wishes to be noticed. Other than the
Next Release list, all you complaints, wished, etc. will not
necessarily be addressed or even seen. They will be considered
if sent to the above addresses though and Eric of course has the
final say so on what is done.
Help files are not all that easy to write. For starters,
sometimes people have a false ideas that they are tutorials that
tell you how to do things. That is not the case nor purpose of a
Help file. A Help file is intended to give the basic idea of what
a feature does, not on what can be done with it. The latter is
more of a tutorial's function, or perhaps in a "How To" section of
Help. Any extra information in a Help file is more of gravy on top
than a part of a true Help file.
As far as the contents of a Help file goes, it is extremely hard
to find a happy middle ground that gives the basic help needed
for newbies and also not put expert users to sleep and give them
the more technical information they need. Repeating a term in
the contents of any type of dictionary, Help file, glossary, etc.
is a basic language rule not to do. I'm sure Eric is aware of that.
I find that with most Help files that I search for things in when
I new to the program (and especially so when I was a new computer
user) that they were too hard to understand at first. By the
time I figured a lot of stuff out on my own, I then found/find
most Helps files to be way too basic. Fortunately for us,Eric
has done a fantastic job overall with the Help file and some of
those that have sent him suggestions an rewrote parts of it. Ray
Fitzgerald comes to mind, and there are others. Personally, when
I have a complaint or see something that needs to be done, I send
in my suggestion to what I think should be changed with the exact
text that I think would make it better so that whoever the author
is of what I am trying to see changed already has the base to add
to his work with some possible changes.
If one goes into detail having to explain words that can
be looked up in NoteTab's Glossary (in this case) or a standard
dictionary is a waist of time both on the author and the readers.
It really depends on the audience on what level a Help file,
tutorial, Speech, or whatever on what degree or level it is
written or said on. Some technical terms in NoteTab are very
widespread in computer Help files, tutorials, on-line computer
dictionaries and a lot of them are in standard dictionaries.
One will eventually need to know what they mean, such as
"multiple instances" and more damage is done in spelling
everything out in words that are not necessary than there is to
leave it with common terms, although they may not be common to
the whole audience. In that case it is up to the minority to do
their homework and not try to drag down everybody else by
insisting things be done in a different manner. I do not try to
take multiplication before addition, less I am lost with
terminology and if I did,it would be my requirement to learn the
terms that should be know on my own. I've tried to add as many
to the glossary that I see questions asked about, but some terms
pop up that I do not have listed yet. About 50% of the glossary
was written by the NoteTabbers listed in the acknowledgements and
I have done the rest.
You will find "multiple instances" and "instance" along with
maybe 20 other words and more cross references in the latest
NoteTab Glossary. I did not get it to Eric for the latest update
in time,but I do work to it when I can. Write me at
feedback@... if you have comments on it. As explained in
it, it is mostly for new users of NoteTab and also not to go into
too long of detail. There are a number of on-lime dictionaries
listed in the - Dictionaries heading so if a term you may be
looking for is not there, you can find the definition on-line.
glossary.zip 37 KB Uploaded by notetabber on 01/05/2002
This edition of NoteTab's Glossary (installed in NoteTab's main
folder and accessed from the Help menu) is Edition 1.7 last
updated on 01-05-2002.
If you use WordWeb in lieu of NoteTab's thesaurus you will find
it very easy to look up a lot of terms. There is a freeware and
inexpensive shareware version. You can edit the latter. See
Third Party Products in Help for more information.
The NoteTabbers Assistant Page
The NoteTab Basic Discussion List