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About Help Files

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  • Jody
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2002
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      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 ntb-nextrelease@yahoogroups.com 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
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/notetab/files/glossary.zip
      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.

      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
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