xoops forums

hsalazar

Just popping in
Posted on: 2005/11/12 4:10
hsalazar
hsalazar (Show more)
Just popping in
Posts: 78
Since: 2003/2/6 1
#11

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

Kalpax:

Here's a few additional points to this thread.

First, it's really a breath of fresh air to read a polite request, and I thank you for that.

Second, I've been there, so I can understand your frustration. But please remember that document writers -and I have done my bit of them- are also users, so they also have to learn first before actually writing something. This was very difficult in the past and is still difficult, as the core coders are a different bunch well above our capabilites, and the module writers have each their own style and way of doing things.

I wrote Soapbox's documentation with the hope that it could get to be a standard to follow, but it's not easy.

I also began writing a book on how to use XOOPS, but it's been delayed quite a bit for several reasons: the lack of time, my jumping between jobs and also, I must add, some disappointment caused by a bunch of negative comments, flame wars and hack attacks here. But reading this thread and seeing the effort of some fellow xoopsers have reignited my hope that things can be improved, so I'll try to participate more in the creation of proper documentation.

Thanks again for your temperate words; let's keep on XOOPSing.

Cheers

Will_H

Friend of XOOPS
Posted on: 2005/11/12 4:35
Will_H
Will_H (Show more)
Friend of XOOPS
Posts: 1786
Since: 2004/10/10
#12

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

This should be the post that we send the real complainers to. I mean this gentlemen was so polite with his complaint and all the big boys came out.

its amazing how far a little patience and courtesy will take you.

kalpax

Just popping in
Posted on: 2005/11/12 8:36
kalpax
kalpax (Show more)
Just popping in
Posts: 61
Since: 2005/8/9 2
#13

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

Well, thanks everyone for the 'we hear you'. I'm totally encouraged...thank you all for not taking my head off (or changing my byline to "Not to shy to rant" or something...)

One thing that kind of puzzled me is that I often didn't find info via search on this site that settled whatever issue was at hand. Sometimes yes but often not. It's hard to imagine that most things haven't been covered before here in the forums. I wonder if the search routine is as good as it could be. I'm used to trolling usenet with google for issues around my day to day programming and I can usually find a lot of stuff to work with. If the info is here buried in the XOOPS forums, it's be really cool to be able to tap it more effectively than I've been able to (I usually wade through a couple pages worth of listings)

Thanks again everyone, for responding here and for providing me with a very interesting cms to work with.

carnuke

Home away from home
Posted on: 2005/11/12 9:11
carnuke
carnuke (Show more)
Home away from home
Posts: 1955
Since: 2003/11/5
#14

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

This is becoming an interesting thread that now broadens out to the concept of information retreival.

I have to agree that answereing the same questions over and over frustrating to the point of saying "dammit, if they cant use the search I wont bother"

However, I have to say that XOOPS is not particularly efficient at retrieveing search information (IMHO). Searches are slow and it is difficult to filter information. It is also difficult to see any meaning in the results as we only get a module and a title, without any contextual snippet. I often find it easier and quicker to use google. This has been raised before on several occasions, but for some reason, we have not had the resources to improve on this.

I still favout the concept of CBB pre-post screen which display:

"Before you ask a question, check to see if the answer is HERE (list of FAQs). It may be a lot quicker than waiting for a forum reply! CONTINUE

This could be linked into the user rank system so the pre-post screen displays ONLY to users under 50 posts, for example. So those who are old hands don't need to worry about nagging screens.
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search xoops

Marco

Home away from home
Posted on: 2005/11/12 9:30
Marco
Marco (Show more)
Home away from home
Posts: 1256
Since: 2004/3/15
#15

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

hello,

Quote:

Most of the modules don’t come with any instructions so to use them is really a hard job. You need hours or sometimes days to actually know how to get what you want. So it should be made necessary for every module developer to write a proper “Read Me” from a Beginner's point of view. I think that it will solve most of the problems that I see in forum everyday.

we can not enforce devs to add due documentation within their module's packages.
Our QA tool is made to help devs thinking about all critical points, documentation/help files are one of them
QA tool for Modules Developers

Perhaps could be great to add within core (admin part) some links to documentation areas (like the "about" page in modules) ?

Quote:

carnuke wrote:
This is becoming an interesting thread that now broadens out to the concept of information retreival.

I have to agree that answereing the same questions over and over frustrating to the point of saying "dammit, if they cant use the search I wont bother"

However, I have to say that XOOPS is not particularly efficient at retrieveing search information (IMHO). Searches are slow and it is difficult to filter information. It is also difficult to see any meaning in the results as we only get a module and a title, without any contextual snippet. I often find it easier and quicker to use google. This has been raised before on several occasions, but for some reason, we have not had the resources to improve on this.

you're right, this point is already on my wishlist (see my signature)

And I know some works are on the way to renew xoops.org navigation and design. First step is to find a new logo, then a new design with new ways of navigation, and improved search functionnalities.

marco
Do synergy or die.

Fastian

Not too shy to talk
Posted on: 2005/11/12 10:24
Fastian
Fastian (Show more)
Not too shy to talk
Posts: 156
Since: 2005/6/6 0
#16

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

Quote:
You can't require someone to create documentation, you can only encourage it. This was what was the driving force behind the QA team was...

Sorry if i sound odd, but i was not requiring anything. (i know i cant being nobody)
What I was trying to say is, sometimes the questions that new users ask are module related and they are so obvious. So it will be a better thing if a "Read me" is included in module where people could have the basics of how to use that module. For just an example, when I used news module I don’t know what difference it make with “Publish in Home?” set to yes or no.

Quote:
we can not enforce devs to add due documentation within their module's packages.


But we can request them to give some /how to/help about the settings/prefrences of the module.

I am just putting a request by sharing my thoughts.
I m not a Programmer
BUT
I m a Good Learner

carnuke

Home away from home
Posted on: 2005/11/12 11:23
carnuke
carnuke (Show more)
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Posts: 1955
Since: 2003/11/5
#17

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

>Fastian, your points are correct and well put. I have recommended that module documentation should be a requirement for part of the QA standards. I am amazed to see modules released without even a suggestion of what they do, or how they work. If I were clever enough to make and release a module, I would be very enthusiastic for users to know exactly what it does and how it works ... I would 'sell' the features and be proud of it's abilities! Ok, we are all different, I guess. So, yes, a readme which incorporates a quickstart guide should be a minimum requirement for a QA stamp before release. I agree fully.

Without sying too much prematurely, you will soon (within a month)see a documentation module here on xoops.org that will enable users to submit documents related to their software releases. Information will be centralised for easy access by everyone. This will also hold all documentation retrospectively from the old DOCS site.

I hope that makes some people smile a little and adds some hope to your issue
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search xoops

Marco

Home away from home
Posted on: 2005/11/12 13:24
Marco
Marco (Show more)
Home away from home
Posts: 1256
Since: 2004/3/15
#18

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

I think we are definitively all agree !

Quote:

So, yes, a readme which incorporates a quickstart guide should be a minimum requirement for a QA stamp before release.

it's still the case in QA tool for modules
look here
https://xoops.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=2650

item D7 Doc Directory -->
Quote:

A "./doc" directory that sets :
a) readme file with basic information, module support site / support email, and bugtrack tool
Description of the purpose of the modules and main functionalities
b) Install file which indicates how to install this module
background information (why, motivation, etc...)
c) help file, addressing common problems, and explained how to user module and its main functionalies
d) GNU License Text
e) Changelog, informing of applied changes /bugracker Nr links
f) credits file, listing those that have participated in the module development
process
g) upgrade file (if applicable)
h) lang diff file (if applicable)
The best is to put some of them in admin part of module (credits, help file)


we still need to promote this tool a little bit more than today.

marco
Do synergy or die.

Lance_

Home away from home
Posted on: 2005/11/12 13:41
Lance_
Lance_ (Show more)
Home away from home
Posts: 983
Since: 2004/1/12
#19

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

I'll throw my 2 cents, like I sometimes do.

I would find interesting to create a new User Level (group). This Group being a "Mentor" user. In essence recognise the users that usually help others without them being "moderators" with the usual moderator powers.

I would however put the Docs in a wiki format and allow these Mentors to also have editing access to the docs. That since they usually help, they could also update a piece of doc for new versions of question, without having to rely on Carnuke to update everything. A wiki would also allow the Mentors, which are usually also advanced users, to create/update the missing module Docs.

Some will probably think this creates too many groups, but I strongly believe in a good sound hierarchy in a community.

Cheers.
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highlander

Not too shy to talk
Posted on: 2005/11/12 15:11
highlander
highlander (Show more)
Not too shy to talk
Posts: 151
Since: 2004/12/5
#20

Re: The problem with xoops is the lack of support

Quote:
I would find interesting to create a new User Level (group). This Group being a "Mentor" user. In essence recognise the users that usually help others without them being "moderators" with the usual moderator powers.

I would however put the Docs in a wiki format and allow these Mentors to also have editing access to the docs. That since they usually help, they could also update a piece of doc for new versions of question, without having to rely on Carnuke to update everything. A wiki would also allow the Mentors, which are usually also advanced users, to create/update the missing module Docs.


This really sounds like a very good idea to me Lance_ !

I believe it owuld require a little thought however to make sure the created wiki pages don't compete with the current (and very good) faq but that the two can complement each other somehow.

Kind regards, (and another 0,02 €) Highlander
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