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On Friday 04 May 2012, 09:02:06 Alexander Thurgood wrote:

Le 04/05/12 04:21, Tom Davies a écrit :

Let's face it, the built-in help system sucks

But OTOH, built-in Help is *very* helpful in certain situations IMHO. So, if 
one is looking for the exact syntax of a regex or if one wants to learn about 
how to use a calc function, it is first choice. 

So it has two aspects, the helpful one and the - how you put it - "sucking" 

So what we have to do is, 
* looking where we can improve the bad aspects
* trying to keep up the valuable aspects
* make people aware of *both* sides and help them adjusting their expectations 
to the reality: that will maximize their benefit.

Generalizations like "the help is bad, rather look into User Guides" are less 

User Guides have their uniqe role in helping people to understand certain 
principles / concepts, as they offer much more space for detailed & redundant 
descriptions. However they are "secondary products" often produced by "mere 
users" and thus there are two major "gaps" within them: the time gap, i.e. 
they "follow" development with a certain delay and, the accuracy gap, i.e. 
they can miss certain aspects or details or functions, just because they have 
been simply overseen or forgotten by the original writer of the guide. 

Therefore, I'd rather have us teaching people the difference between the 
possibilities of getting help than playing them off against each other and 
thus confusing people.

(And, yes, there are the bad aspects, too. They need improvement, of course.)


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