Jump to content

Documentation?


BLaBZ
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello -

I've been using the full IP Community suite for about a year and half now and I very much like what's intuitive about the system, but what's not intuitive becomes extremely frustrating to find documentation and support.

Where can I find FULL documentation and guide on all of the IP Products?

The guides section is extremely fragmented and lacks a significant amount of information about the products
https://www.invisionpower.com/support/guides

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only two places I know of with official documentation are that site you just linked and what is available by clicking the "Help" link on the footer of every IPB site (for example: http://community.invisionpower.com/index.php?app=core&module=help). Beyond that, if you have questions or are confused about something you might be able to find the answer by searching here or by just asking :smile:

If something isn't intuitive to you, also consider opening a feedback thread in the appropriate forum. While there are no guarantees anything will be done with that feedback, at least it'll be out there so IPS knows there is an issue there for some people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. Those are docs that they made available publicly so as to explain how plugins work in 4.0.

Well it says there are two guides in it for me, but it says no guides exist when I try and actually view them.

Do you have special access or are they just not available to anyone yet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Creating and maintaining a PDF version of documentation would be ideal. Possibly 3 different ones for ease of distribution. One for normal members, one for Administrators, and one for programmers/skinners/add-on creators. It sounds like a lot of work, but it would be a heck of a lot easier for the customer trying to navigate these forums and pages that are very scattered around and frequently outdated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a Wiki documentation system could be a good idea. I'm sure there are many people here who would be interested in helping maintain/contribute to it.

Would just have to be dedicated enough to deal with the potential vandalism.

We tried that - we got too many complaints it wasn't "official".

Also, maintaining PDF documents are often challenging because things change so frequently but the PDF files don't get updated.

We will have a focus on documentation prior to the release of 4.0. We have already started with several areas (even if they're not necessarily posted on the site yet).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We tried that - we got too many complaints it wasn't "official".

I thought about that, and almost suggested having both an official and community contributed wiki documentation page, then I realized that would be kind of ridiculous.

Maybe an unofficial Wikimedia project could be an idea.

I have doubts many people would be willing to go through the effort of actually contributing to it, but if was at all successful, anything useful that's posted in it could freely be copied into the official Wiki too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On software this expensive it shouldn't need to be the community making the basic documentation. The problem of not keeping the pdf documentation updated is simply unacceptable. The pdf should be just like most other pdf files with a table of contents by subject.

  • Installation
  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Gallery
  • Chat
  • IP Content
  • Downloads
  • Admin CP
  • Moderation
  • Basic Skinning
  • Basic Hook Creation

And subsections for different areas including FAQ in each section. With minor updates you may need to make a couple changes. With major updates, screen shots changed, and descriptions of new features. Best practices section, and optimization guidance. To me this seems like a necessity. Pretty much any time I buy something more complex than a pencil I read all enclosed documentation to make sure I understand the full capabilities. Many could find it useful, and many would find a feature they didn't know about or completely understand and make their lives easier. I made highly customized PDF documentation for new users of different forums I'm administrator on including separate guides for moderators/new admins. This isn't a hard task, and doesn't require enough time to completely disregard the importance of easy documentation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm just trying to be honest and straight forward here. We've been around for a while and we have an idea of what works and what doesn't.

PDF documentation does not work. Our software changes constantly (even as often as every few weeks at times), and it is not feasible to keep it updated all the time and release new PDF files. Further to this, the demographic audience changes - many of our clients have no interest in downloading a PDF file and reading it front to back. The majority, I would suggest. They have no problem putting something into a search form and looking for documentation online that is actually relevant, however.

As a PHP developer, I have no interest in downloading the documentation for the PHP language and using a PDF. I don't mind searching php.net (or google) to read up on a function I haven't used in a while, however.

The wiki-style idea we tried. It didn't really work. We still have it online, technically (just without a link to it). http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/articles.html . We feel there is a difference in approach, however. We need to have official end-user (and developer, but that is largely covered with few complaints at present) documentation available that explains how to use the software. A community-based wiki can still have value in explaining how to do things that are not out of the box features ("what settings would I use to create an IP.Content block that does x"), but it is not a replacement for official basic documentation on using the software.

When 4.0 is released we expect to have a fleshed out end user and developer documentation area on the website.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm just trying to be honest and straight forward here. We've been around for a while and we have an idea of what works and what doesn't.

PDF documentation does not work. Our software changes constantly (even as often as every few weeks at times), and it is not feasible to keep it updated all the time and release new PDF files. Further to this, the demographic audience changes - many of our clients have no interest in downloading a PDF file and reading it front to back. The majority, I would suggest. They have no problem putting something into a search form and looking for documentation online that is actually relevant, however.

As a PHP developer, I have no interest in downloading the documentation for the PHP language and using a PDF. I don't mind searching php.net (or google) to read up on a function I haven't used in a while, however.

The wiki-style idea we tried. It didn't really work. We still have it online, technically (just without a link to it). http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/articles.html . We feel there is a difference in approach, however. We need to have official end-user (and developer, but that is largely covered with few complaints at present) documentation available that explains how to use the software. A community-based wiki can still have value in explaining how to do things that are not out of the box features ("what settings would I use to create an IP.Content block that does x"), but it is not a replacement for official basic documentation on using the software.

When 4.0 is released we expect to have a fleshed out end user and developer documentation area on the website.

Up to date? Explain from a end user point of view and not "tech-e" problems? Pictures every freaking were explain things and not just pure code like you done in the pass? That would up a bunch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm just trying to be honest and straight forward here. We've been around for a while and we have an idea of what works and what doesn't.

PDF documentation does not work. Our software changes constantly (even as often as every few weeks at times), and it is not feasible to keep it updated all the time and release new PDF files. Further to this, the demographic audience changes - many of our clients have no interest in downloading a PDF file and reading it front to back. The majority, I would suggest. They have no problem putting something into a search form and looking for documentation online that is actually relevant, however.

As a PHP developer, I have no interest in downloading the documentation for the PHP language and using a PDF. I don't mind searching php.net (or google) to read up on a function I haven't used in a while, however.

The wiki-style idea we tried. It didn't really work. We still have it online, technically (just without a link to it). http://community.invisionpower.com/resources/articles.html . We feel there is a difference in approach, however. We need to have official end-user (and developer, but that is largely covered with few complaints at present) documentation available that explains how to use the software. A community-based wiki can still have value in explaining how to do things that are not out of the box features ("what settings would I use to create an IP.Content block that does x"), but it is not a replacement for official basic documentation on using the software.

When 4.0 is released we expect to have a fleshed out end user and developer documentation area on the website.

I do hope you will leave it online now I know where to look :D.

A quick glance and I reckon it is going to help me personally a lot.

I agree that you don't have to provide a copy of stuff on php etc. which is available on the 'net as you rightly indicate, it would help however to get a better insight into the hierarchy and structure of the software and template setup by, f.e., sharing a few articles on those. I am fortunate that I am able to figure things out for myself, eventually anyway, but a little push in the right direction every so often does help and speed up things tremendously, I can assure you. :D

Warm regards, Wim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It also helps to have video tutorials.

Where you actually talk.

With a british accent.

Because everything sounds like it makes sense with a british accent.

I may be persuaded to provide some video tutorials when 4.0 is out, in that case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I prefer write-ups, if I am honest. I hope you will actually provide written documentation as well, simply because it is a silent approach, and something that is easy when looking back for specific things, much easier than videos IMO. Considering I am going deaf as well, faster than going blind, it would be beneficial from another POV too :D.

Warm regards, Wim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be persuaded to provide some video tutorials when 4.0 is out, in that case.

http://community.invisionpower.com/topic/396069-who-wins-in-emoticon-management/#entry2451627

Look at the two links in that thread. The mere fact that xenforo's video had someone talking and explaining the features made me more attracted to their software. The fact that the voice was british only made the effect greater. I definitely think there's value in voiced tutorials. Heck, it doesn't even have to be documentation. Voiced presentation of your software's features is definitely something your marketing department should consider.

You can't go wrong with a british accent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...