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[Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Felix Natter
Administrator
hi,

to all: Tobias is enhan222 from the open discussion forum, who offered
help with the 1.3.x documentation.

@Tobias: How can we help you complete the new 1.3.x documentation?

I think we can/should keep/extend the Documentation->Reference part?

Thanks and Best Regards,
--
Felix Natter

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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Tobias Brown
This post was updated on .
Maybe have one mind map with all documentation and call it Documentation.

Under this, present the Tutorial.

The User Guide has things like Basic terms, Nodes. But Nodes are mentioned in the Tutorial too. So, this is redundant, no? So, maybe put everything in the first (Doc.) section, including the other Reference guide. So, reduce the main areas from 3 to 1.

Secondly, I may be different from others but unless you have a professional visual presentation, the most visually appealing style is 100% plain jane. So, don't use any color styles which suggest to the user which section are easier / harder. Maybe have one light shade which shows nodes where people often have difficulties. (For example, when I first started using Freeplane it was really hard to learn that double-clicking on the node drag point would reset the node to home position. Little things like this can discourage new users. So, somehow highlight these specific items.

Thirdly, make it really easy for users to edit and save the file locally. This way they can customize it for their needs. Somehow the files don't save when one first opens then. That was quite frustrating.

Forthly, maybe begin the Documentation with a mirror of the main menu and cover all of those items. Maybe all How-Tos can be embedded there. Then cover the Style module, which is very complicated IMHO. Then the context editor.
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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Felix Natter
Administrator
hi Tobias,

Please make sure to send a copy of the message to the mailing list as well
(you need to subscribe in the popup that appears if you reply via
nabble. If you have problems with this, write to fnatter@gmx.net). Thanks.

> Maybe have one mind map with all documentation and call it Documentation.
>
> Under this, present the Tutorial.
>
> The User Guide has things like Basic terms, Nodes. But Nodes are mentioned
> in the Tutorial too. So, this is redundant, no? So, maybe put everything in
> the first (Doc.) section, including the other Reference guide. So, reduce
> the main areas from 3 to 1.

One could argue that reading the Tutorial is a separate use case than
reading Reference Documentation or the User Guide, but of course I'll let
you decide!

> Secondly, I may be different from others but unless you have a professional
> visual presentation, the most visually appealing style is 100% plain
> jane.

I don't consider visual appearance to be extremely important, but of course
we're happy if you improve it :-)

> So, don't use any color styles which suggest to the user which
> section are easier / harder. Maybe have one light shade which shows nodes
> where people often have difficulties. (For example, when I first started
> using Freeplane it was really hard to learn that double-clicking on the
> node drag point would reset the node to home position. Little things like
> this can discourage new users. So, somehow highlight these specific items.

Mentioning+Highlighting common pitfalls is a very good idea.

> Thirdly, make it really easy for users to edit and save the file
> locally. This way they can customize it for their needs. Somehow the files
> don't save when one first opens then. That was quite frustrating.

I am also not quite happy with this. The documentation mind maps are
read-only, but that does not mean you get an error when trying to save but
rather the "Save map" (Ctrl-s) action is disabled! So you think you've
saved, but actually you didn't.

> Forthly, maybe begin the Documentation with a mirror of the main menu and
> cover all of those items. Maybe all How-Tos can be embedded there. Then
> cover the Style module, which is very complicated IMHO. Then the context
> editor.

I can contribute documentation for the context ("rich text") editor :-)

BTW: is the "Key reference" up to date (or is it even generated with
current mappings at runtime)?

Thanks and Best Regards,
Felix
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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Tobias Brown

I apologize for writing such a long message this last time. I will try to be more concise.

I maybe confused some of your terminology regarding the help documents. The current structure of those documents is as follows, I believe:

Tutorial
       Functions index
       Applications
       Documentation
               User Guide
               Reference

My main point here is that the words Tutorial, Documentation, User Guide, & Reference can all be considered so close in meaning that users might find this confusing. I did. So, maybe collapse all of these into one map. Maybe call it Documentation.

Secondly, maybe base this documentation on the Freeplane menu structure. Then add sections on the Toolbars and Editors.

I forgot to mention that I have a strong bias towards seeing almost all documentation nodes on the right side. There is something very uncomfortable, at least for me, with using the left side. So, maybe put everything on the right side. But maybe that's just me. (As long as I can edit the file, dragging everything to the right side isn't a big deal.

Next, I will post a reply to Felix's reply, and hopefully this will post to the email list this time.





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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Tobias Brown
Sorry, I don't know if my subscription has been accepted for the mailing list. Again, call me stupid. But let me say, I'm use the Internet 7-8 hours per day so if I have problems with it, others will too. Anyway. To my reply to your reply.

As far as the visuals go, I think no style works best here.

Regarding the "Save map" issue, maybe include a message on how to learn Freeplane and suggest to users to begin immediately by revising the documentation mind map by re-organizing things to their taste. And here, include instructions on how to get around the saving issue.

I don't know what the "Key reference" is.

Please keep in mind that I am a mere avid Freeplane user. My aim is to quickly understand all of the capacities of Freeplane and begin using it for my needs. So, far, I have been restricted to using only the basic features, due to difficulties I have each time I try to go further. I consider myself to be more patient than most but my patients are quite limited still. I expect that many people who could benefit from using Freeplane will not get past stage I learning, grasping only the basic features. Mostly, people feel that reading documentation shouldn't be necessary.

Next, I will study my version of the Documentation file.

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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Tobias Brown
This post was updated on .
Okay, I started digging into this again, tried examining all of the user documents. I'm beginning to feel that rectifying this problem isn't viable. Mind mapping is a great process but I think it's a personal process. So, a map that I created can make sense to me, but others will find it impossible.

The alternative is for each of us to construct our own Documentation.

Therefore, the best help Freeplane might be able to provide is to record some Google Hangout videos published on YouTube which run through various areas of Freeplane. Users can then decide how to create their custom map. Maybe Freeplane could provide a basic help file that shows the full menu structure, barebones, so that everyone doesn't have to remake this part from scratch.

First HangOut recording session would be:

1. Basic Freeplane functions to get an absolutely new users going in less than 20 minutes.

2. Basic review of the Style Module.

3. Basic review of Filters.

4. Basic review of all of the advanced features of Freeplane.

Then add more based on demand from users.

A key to the HangOut sessions would be to allow participants screen sharing capacities so instead of trying to ask questions, the user can simply show others what they mean. I think Google Hangouts has a screen sharing feature.

So, yeah, that's my conclusion here. The documentation is too much of a bear. Best think might be to provide users with a customizable map of the structure of all Freeplane user interface areas and then let everyone add their own "ToolTip" reminder nodes which remind users how such and such works. Maybe Freeplane can add one or two sentences as ToolTips which orient the user and define the scope of each area.

 
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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Dimitry Polivaev
Administrator
In reply to this post by Tobias Brown
Hi Tobias,

I am sorry for nor responding to your many mails for a couple of days.
This mail is a test mail as I am still trying to find out how our new mailling list / forum combination works.
I promise to write more content in my next responses.

Regards,
Dimitry
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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Tobias Brown
No worries. It is I who feels regretful for not digging into this
more. (I can't spend too much time on the computer, so I have to pace
myself.)

On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM, dpolivaev [via Freeplane Developer]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Tobias,
>
> I am sorry for nor responding to your many mails for a couple of days.
> This mail is a test mail as I am still trying to find out how our new
> mailling list / forum combination works.
> I promise to write more content in my next responses.
>
> Regards,
> Dimitry
>
> ________________________________
> If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion
> below:
> http://freeplane-developer.996965.n3.nabble.com/Freeplane-developer-Freeplane-1-3-x-documentation-tp26p34.html
> To unsubscribe from [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation,
> click here.
> NAML
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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Dimitry Polivaev
Administrator
In reply to this post by Tobias Brown
Hi,

> Sorry, I don't know if my subscription has been accepted for the mailing list. Again, call me
> stupid. But let me say, I'm use the Internet 7-8 hours per day so if I have problems with it, others
> will too. Anyway. To my reply to your reply.

Sorry, it was me who mistakenly disabled the proper delivery of the forum messages to the list.
I hope now everything is repaired and everyone can post using all three gateways namely the nabble
web site, the nabble mail gateway and the list mail gateway.

> As far as the visuals go, I think no style works best here.
>
> Regarding the "Save map" issue, maybe include a message on how to learn Freeplane and suggest to
> users to begin immediately by revising the documentation mind map by re-organizing things to their
> taste. And here, include instructions on how to get around the saving issue.

We do not have to suffer from the saving issue. As I implemented it I wanted to prevent
documentation from being mistakenly overwritten by user. I could change the logic so that for the
documents either the saving is possible after accepting a warning message or at least such message
is displayed after you try to save them.

What is your preference? Shouldn't we discuss it in the open discussion forum to get our power users
opinions first?

>
> I don't know what the "Key reference" is.

It is a dialog displayed after you click on Help -> Key reference

>
> Please keep in mind that I am a mere avid Freeplane user. My aim is to quickly understand all of the
> capacities of Freeplane and begin using it for my needs. So, far, I have been restricted to using
> only the basic features, due to difficulties I have each time I try to go further. I consider myself
> to be more patient than most but my patients are quite limited still. I expect that many people who
> could benefit from using Freeplane will not get past stage I learning, grasping only the basic
> features. Mostly, people feel that reading documentation shouldn't be necessary.

Freeplane and its documentation have been created by passionated people spending work and sharing
their results. It is just as great as their abilities and their passion and it can always be
improved by other people.

>
> Next, I will study my version of the Documentation file.
>

I would be curious to look at it too if you could share it.

Regards, Dimitry
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Re: [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Tobias Brown
My version of the docs are nothing really. I simply brought all the
docs into one map, removed all the styles, and put everything on the
right side. Now, I'm trying to make sense of it. I find the whole
thing too complex. Therefore, I think it would be useful to offer a
complete alternative based on YouTube videos created via Google
Hangouts, though I'm not expert on how to run those.

On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM, dpolivaev [via Freeplane Developer]
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
>> Sorry, I don't know if my subscription has been accepted for the mailing
>> list. Again, call me
>> stupid. But let me say, I'm use the Internet 7-8 hours per day so if I
>> have problems with it, others
>> will too. Anyway. To my reply to your reply.
>
> Sorry, it was me who mistakenly disabled the proper delivery of the forum
> messages to the list.
> I hope now everything is repaired and everyone can post using all three
> gateways namely the nabble
> web site, the nabble mail gateway and the list mail gateway.
>
>> As far as the visuals go, I think no style works best here.
>>
>> Regarding the "Save map" issue, maybe include a message on how to learn
>> Freeplane and suggest to
>> users to begin immediately by revising the documentation mind map by
>> re-organizing things to their
>> taste. And here, include instructions on how to get around the saving
>> issue.
>
> We do not have to suffer from the saving issue. As I implemented it I wanted
> to prevent
> documentation from being mistakenly overwritten by user. I could change the
> logic so that for the
> documents either the saving is possible after accepting a warning message or
> at least such message
> is displayed after you try to save them.
>
> What is your preference? Shouldn't we discuss it in the open discussion
> forum to get our power users
> opinions first?
>
>>
>> I don't know what the "Key reference" is.
>
> It is a dialog displayed after you click on Help -> Key reference
>
>>
>> Please keep in mind that I am a mere avid Freeplane user. My aim is to
>> quickly understand all of the
>> capacities of Freeplane and begin using it for my needs. So, far, I have
>> been restricted to using
>> only the basic features, due to difficulties I have each time I try to go
>> further. I consider myself
>> to be more patient than most but my patients are quite limited still. I
>> expect that many people who
>> could benefit from using Freeplane will not get past stage I learning,
>> grasping only the basic
>> features. Mostly, people feel that reading documentation shouldn't be
>> necessary.
>
> Freeplane and its documentation have been created by passionated people
> spending work and sharing
> their results. It is just as great as their abilities and their passion and
> it can always be
> improved by other people.
>
>>
>> Next, I will study my version of the Documentation file.
>>
>
> I would be curious to look at it too if you could share it.
>
> Regards, Dimitry
>
>
> ________________________________
> If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion
> below:
> http://freeplane-developer.996965.n3.nabble.com/Freeplane-developer-Freeplane-1-3-x-documentation-tp26p37.html
> To unsubscribe from [Freeplane-developer] Freeplane 1.3.x documentation,
> click here.
> NAML
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Re: Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Dimitry Polivaev
Administrator
> My version of the docs are nothing really. I simply brought all the
> docs into one map, removed all the styles, and put everything on the
> right side. Now, I'm trying to make sense of it. I find the whole
> thing too complex. Therefore, I think it would be useful to offer a
> complete alternative based on YouTube videos created via Google
> Hangouts, though I'm not expert on how to run those.

Making things clear is always a challenge and it costs time. I see that Freeplane has become too
complex. Neither Freeplane menus and preferences nor its documentation is structured in a easy way.
and special efforts are needed to make it look clearer and easier. It is like a program code, like a
book or presentation, like everything else, structure requires special efforts. I think that
changing it is a long term task and I am neither willing nor able to do it on my own. I can just try
to consolidate my efforts with other guys.

Hangouts can always be a way to analyze what we have and what we need all together.
Then we should use our insights to create a better structure for all those things. And I believe
that mind maps are the best tool to create and purify structure.

By the way Docear has tried to structure the user actions in a better way as they worked on a new
ribbon based interface. But without discussion with affected users I can not build any final judgment.

Best, Dimitry

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Re: Freeplane 1.3.x documentation

Dimitry Polivaev
Administrator
In reply to this post by Tobias Brown
> I maybe confused some of your terminology regarding the help documents. The
> current structure of those documents is as follows, I believe:
>
> Tutorial
>         Functions index
>         Applications
>         Documentation
>                 User Guide
>                 Reference
>
> My main point here is that the words Tutorial, Documentation, User Guide, &
> Reference can all be considered so close in meaning that users might find
> this confusing. I did. So, maybe collapse all of these into one map. Maybe
> call it Documentation.

Current documentation separated in different maps reflects personal understanding of its author.
The same applies to its internal structure, styles, attributes and so on.
It is not a rule, it is not unchangeable and it even has to be changed as new people start to
implement their ideas. For me it is just important that every started action can be successfully
finished and it means we should only allow ourselves to do as small steps as we can complete because
I value my and other people's time and work very high.

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