About Documentation (Split topic from: New forum version and theme)

Started by Jo Kariboo, August 06, 2019, 09:06:12 am

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Jo Kariboo

I know that everything is debatable, but I would have preferred that this energy focused on the aesthetics of the site be directed to make once and for all a user manual for your software (blue node etc.).
You would earn more money by explaining your software and we would be better informed customers.
I am convinced that many like me have become demotivated due to a lack of specific information. There is a limit to waiting for your customers to arbitrarily learn how Terragen works. Almost all the tutorials presented here are made by amateur clients (hobby).

archonforest

Dell T5500 with Dual Hexa Xeon CPU 3Ghz, 32Gb ram
Amiga 1200 8Mb ram, 8Gb ssd

WAS

Quote from: Jo Kariboo on August 06, 2019, 09:06:12 amI know that everything is debatable, but I would have preferred that this energy focused on the aesthetics of the site be directed to make once and for all a user manual for your software (blue node etc.).
You would earn more money by explaining your software and we would be better informed customers.
I am convinced that many like me have become demotivated due to a lack of specific information. There is a limit to waiting for your customers to arbitrarily learn how Terragen works. Almost all the tutorials presented here are made by amateur clients (hobby).

I will defend Planetside here, that the forum upgrade was necessary. There are necessary modern security changes that should be observed, and 2.1 RC2 incorporates these changes. So that's a good thing. The aesthetics of the site is just the default theme that came with the forum software, which also came with some new features.

I'm sure Oshyan did not spend too much time on installation of the new version, or migrating it's Database. In fact it seemed like a quick process (I was watching).

But I do agree that we desperately need the documentation written and released, but I don't think this should be taken as some sort of deterrent from those things.
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Oshyan

The forum update was not something that particularly interfered with doc updates or was done "instead of". It literally took less than a day of work, in which time not much could have been added to the docs instead.

We certainly agree that the documentation needs work, and we're investing time, energy, and money into that. Everything always seems to take longer than we'd all like, I think, but it's progressing.

- Oshyan

DannyG

August 07, 2019, 11:27:49 pm #4 Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 12:42:44 am by DannyG Reason: Had to say it
100% agree with Mr Kariboo. Even if it only took a few hours, a tutorial could have been made or a wiki page could have been updated during that time. This forum has 10+ years of the same complaint that hasn't been addressed at all. Very confused as to why that is. It doesn't add up to me. I had to say it ...

WAS

Quote from: Dune on August 08, 2019, 02:10:49 amNever noticed that button either, always using this one. Not skipping any new post.
Same here. Every forum has it so sorta just got used to it I guess to look anywhere else. But that is convenient for like the image thread where there may be lots of new replies mixed with viewed topics and want them to list nicely.

Quote from: DannyG on August 07, 2019, 11:27:49 pm100% agree with Mr Kariboo. Even if it only took a few hours, a tutorial could have been made or a wiki page could have been updated during that time. This forum has 10+ years of the same complaint that hasn't been addressed at all. Very confused as to why that is. It doesn't add up to me. I had to say it ...

Hopefully we see documentation and some high quality tutorials in the future. I can't wait. I do hope the redesign isn't taxing or take away from areas that need focusing... I've offered to help.
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Dune

I's been said before, but documentation is SOO hard to do, because there's so many ways to achieve something, all interdependent on eachother. I've been working in TG since 2008 I believe, and still find new things/combinations, and still can't comprehend it all.
But I'm very curious what will come up.

archonforest

I am playing with TG since 6 years. When I bought my first copy I asked whats up with the docs? I heard numerous times from PS how they making it. Now 6! years passed by and the Docs are still...

Since PS is only a 2 man show they will never have the time to make the Docs unless they hire a Professional user to make it. Sorry but lets face the truth here. Or we will have Docs if the TG community comes together and start writing it piece by piece, shader by shader.


Sorry if it's all sounds negative but 6 years passed by and no product. This fact is an indicator and it is a bad one. Blender is a very successful product and it is spreading like wildfire. Look at the amount of people who contributes there with literally hundreds of free tutorials and write ups! This is a big part of the success. 
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Amiga 1200 8Mb ram, 8Gb ssd

WAS

Matt will undoubtedly need to write the documentation for it to it be really a good interpretation of the software. Just like documentation for other software, it's written by people aware of the code. It is most certainly not written like a tutorial and based on consumers opinions of features or results.

This is really probably why we haven't seen one. They can't just hire someone to write a documentation without it becoming a word by word proof read by Matt anyway to ensure there is no miscommunication of the software, if any user could achieve this level of understanding. Like @Dune said, he's still learning new stuff. Says all there needs to be said. Even by users I know very familiar with algebra and blue nodes coming up with me ways, better performance in their work, etc.

Without forking over the whole code base for some stranger to dissect I don't see any good documentation coming from anyone by Matt.

It would probably take years to write the docs by just trial and error of mins and maxes and dos and don'ts of everything in TG without referring to source.
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archonforest

Sure Matt would be the best for the job but lets face it. He is full time coding and fixing/upgrading things to make sure TG stays in the race. And since this is a pretty though race he cannot stop otherwise other software packages will take over and sales goes down. This is pretty black and white.

As I said I am waiting since 6 years for the Docs and probably will wait forever unless we all do something. How about each of us takes a node and updates the Wiki with pictures/screenshots or a small tgd file that show what EXACTLY what the bloody node is doing.

Or why some of the users are not doing video tuts for money? I would buy it for sure. For example you could do some WAS. I can see you have a great understanding of TG/nodes and in general 3D. I am sure people would buy it.
Dell T5500 with Dual Hexa Xeon CPU 3Ghz, 32Gb ram
Amiga 1200 8Mb ram, 8Gb ssd

WAS

Quote from: archonforest on August 08, 2019, 03:32:32 amSure Matt would be the best for the job but lets face it. He is full time coding and fixing/upgrading things to make sure TG stays in the race. And since this is a pretty though race he cannot stop otherwise other software packages will take over and sales goes down. This is pretty black and white.

As I said I am waiting since 6 years for the Docs and probably will wait forever unless we all do something. How about each of us takes a node and updates the Wiki with pictures/screenshots or a small tgd file that show what EXACTLY what the bloody node is doing.

Or why some of the users are not doing video tuts for money? I would buy it for sure. For example you could do some WAS. I can see you have a great understanding of TG/nodes and in general 3D. I am sure people would buy it.

I've asked for the wiki issue to be resolved or switch to a better system before so we can make edits (maybe make accs for us users by request), but In reality, as I mentioned above, it won't be true documentation. At least not like I read from languages/software elsewhere done by development themselves or the best in the fields that know the base code they are working with like the English language.

But perhaps we are off topic and should create a new topic in discussions. I would love to work on a TG wiki but I'm not sure id call it real documentation unless it can convey the working limitations and logic of the functions that drive TG. Like blender and other software you mention.


And as busy as Matt may be, this is a part of the game and keeping up. Especially from a b2c standpoint.
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Dune

Still, even taking one node, you can't write everything down that can be done with it. As said it all depends on connected nodes, and one extra misconnection by some user and the description fails to deliver.
Trial and error, experimentation, and (un)educated guesswork are the keys to understanding the software. I have actually hardly ever read anything in the wiki.

DannyG

Quote from: Dune on August 08, 2019, 02:35:58 amI's been said before, but documentation is SOO hard to do, because there's so many ways to achieve something, all interdependent on eachother. I've been working in TG since 2008 I believe, and still find new things/combinations, and still can't comprehend it all.
But I'm very curious what will come up.


Ulco this is not personally directed towards you, it is to the subjects you touched on in the quote - I understand docs/tutorials are a challenge due to the node based interface. But there are tons of programs out there that are node based and have the same flexibility as TG if not more yet there are hundreds of hours of video tutorials with extensive documentation addressing fundamental to advanced subject matter. I don't think any one of the requesting Terragen users are expecting a "Terragen Bible" explaining everything. How about something simple like taking the example tgds that ship with Terragen? You already have varying complexity scenes created and available to users. Take them have Planetside break it down into pre-recorded videos and release it on YouTube. That's a couple hours of someones time to record it. Do you know how tremendously helpful that would be to the Community? This late in the game I am beside myself as to why this or something similar has not been done. Terralive was great, NWDA's TU & Frank B were exceptional in what they were presenting, Intro to Terragen's UI, World Machine integration, overview of v2's Populations and of course Frank's v2 Cloud tutorial. That was 7 years ago. To PS's defense there were a couple v3 update videos 5 years ago. However these were not tutorials. They were basic intros to new very cool features at the time. I don't want to sound like a jerk bringing this up again but as Jo Kariboo said these voids are really hurting people's creativity and frankly forcing them to look elsewhere.

WAS

Quote from: Dune on August 08, 2019, 06:01:07 amStill, even taking one node, you can't write everything down that can be done with it. As said it all depends on connected nodes, and one extra misconnection by some user and the description fails to deliver.
Trial and error, experimentation, and (un)educated guesswork are the keys to understanding the software. I have actually hardly ever read anything in the wiki.



I mean, that's how it goes for anything..... Think about a programing language. You can do whatever with the code, even make a Terragen, but each piece of code has a specific function. Even the PF with it's finite seeds and mapping has a specific function and most certainly can be described. What people do with it, or fail to comprehend and make mistakes is all on them.

What you are describing doesnt relate to documentations. A tutorial maybe.

And that's another issue. In today's world people don't seem to even understand what documentation is compared to reference manuals, and than teaching tutorials which are more cirriculum after a basic understanding of functionality and logic.  This is why some software I refuse to touch because they couldn't even write a documentation without it being bits and pieces of tutorials and vague reference denotions
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Dune

I don't see many users here who crave for video's, the 'community' consists of only a handful people. If anyone is interested in making a video about the shipped tgd's (I don't even know what ships with it actually), feel free. I won't do it, I'd rather stick to answering specific questions, and once in a while make a tgd with (extensive) notes of some subject. Like the latest (free) beach. But even that feels like wasted time, as I never see anyone responding, or showing its use.

But I think this goes beyond the subject of this thread.  :-X