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The manual

Discussion in 'ModelConverterX' started by arno, 13/4/10.

  1. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Hi,

    One of the results from the user survey was that many people are using the development release and not the stable release. This is not so surprising, since often we tell people to try the development release as it has more features than the latest stable one.

    So I am considering if it still makes sense to have two versions. One of the big differences between the stable and development release is that I update the manual with each stable release. So this brings me to some questions about the manual.

    1. Do you actually use the manual?
    2. Do you think the current manual is easy to use? Does it contain the information you are looking for or is it too much focused on the option available and too little on how to use the tool.
    3. Do you think it would be useful if the manual would also reflect the changes in the development release quicker?

    Any ideas are welcome. As for most programmers, I guess updating the manual is not my favourite task to do, but I would still want to make sure the manual is as useful as possible to you :).
  2. FelixFFDS

    FelixFFDS

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    In the best of all worlds, there would be no difference between the latest stable release and the current development version.

    For the most part, we are as masochistic as you are and we want the latest development version.

    I, for one, believe that the current system is good enough.

    Formalize the manual for the latest stable version adding to it as the development version becomes the stable version.

    The development version, of course, should have the running "these are the changes" and relevant link(s) to this forum where the changes are discussed.

    Most of the time, I believe, that the hardcore users are already looking at this forum and see when you put a little not "new development version tonight" ....

    You're doing more than enough.

    No need to "fix" what isn't broken .

    .............................
  3. robystar

    robystar

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    No, I do not use the manual. Did not even know there was one. And yeah, why worry? It is good enough as it is and if someone is really interested, he will keep up with the updates and will know, in the meantime, what to expect and what not. The program, in itself, is not so difficult to use anyway and this comment comes from someone that has abandoned trying to learn Gmax. In other words, MCX is not so difficult to learn and should therefore not really need a lengthy manual.
  4. Pyscen

    Pyscen

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    Arno,...

    I have actually used the manual when I have come to a stand still in a problem,... but the changes that have occurred since the last "stable" release has grown farther apart. I'm not saying it should be updated asap as soon as a new development release occurs either.

    I know you are using "Your" time to do both the programming as well as documentation and updating the manual is far from fun... even I don't like writing a help file, trying to think of all circumstances that could possibly be helpful to the user. Working in Customer service helps me know that "people", in general, do not read if they don't have to. No offense to anyone here, please (I mean that, even I don't read everything!!) I usually only read when I come to a problem.

    What I think would be helpful though... is maybe a briefing on "new" and/or "procedures" on how the features are to be used... That way, the user can at least search or locate a possible answer to a problem.


    My 2 cents worth here, or in Mexico, my 2 pesos worth.
  5. Sidney Schwartz

    Sidney Schwartz

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    1. I read the manual at first to learn to do what I needed to do. After that I had little need to refer to it.

    2. I think the manual is fine for the person who would be the most likely user of MCX...someone who already has experience with 3D objects and FS scenery design. Newbies would probably need more explanation, but I can't really see this as being something I'd recommend that a newbie try.

    3. What Pyscen said...a briefing on new features would be helpful. If we're still befuddled we can always ask for a more detailed explaination.
  6. tgibson

    tgibson

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    Sorry, didn't know there *was* a manual...
  7. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

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    Thanks for the feedback. I guess like some of you said, don't fix when it is not broken. So we'll keep it like it is and I'll try to report changes to the development release more structural.
  8. Pyscen

    Pyscen

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    Tom,...

    Look at the 2nd "sticky" in this section,... :D


    Pointing the way------->

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