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Blender Interactive and Localized Documentation

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 1:03 am
by zingbat
I had this idea after reading that the Blender GUI upgrade will have something similar to Nendo and their great interactive tutorials that use the program interface in a pre-scripted way to show how it works.

Interactive documentation would work like Nendo. When a tutorial is playing the user sees a video control that can jump from chapter to chapter, speed up the tutorial, pause and stuff. Users could also record their own tutorials and share them with other users.

Localized documentation would work with a small cursor in the shape of a interrogation point that when clicking on a button, panel or menu would select the documentation related to the use of that gui. Inside that documentation page we could find links to interactive tutorials also related to the use of that gui.

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:49 am
by joeri
I would be happy to create some of those tutorials.

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:12 am
by Marianne
What would be interesting above all is to make the tutorials aware of the feature it's using, not only its location.

Just take for example the number of users that still ask why subsurf is gone. With an intelligent interactive tutorial, blender could maybe locate the new location of the feature, or at least point to the user "this tutorial uses a feature that moved here". I have no idea how difficult that would be to code since i've never coded blender, but judging from other apps i've worked on that used OpenGL interfaces i think it would not be that hard to do

that could have an enourmous potential in keeping documentation viable despite changes between versions.

Also obviously because of the ability to pause, localize, speed up, slow down ,etc.

So really +1 :)

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:02 am
by joeri
I'm afraid you are hitting a nerve here. Tutorials that are written for some previous feature that would be gone in the current version would propably be broken. It would be very hard for all tutorials to be forward compatible.

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:06 am
by LetterRip
Actually automated tutorials could be done forward compatible depending on how the recording of the tutorial done (ie if it records the stroke and button or key events only, or it records the commands, etc.)

LetterRip

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:04 pm
by Marianne
joeri wrote:I'm afraid you are hitting a nerve here. Tutorials that are written for some previous feature that would be gone in the current version would propably be broken. It would be very hard for all tutorials to be forward compatible.
Perhaps not forward-compatible, but if the tutorial records "press on button X" and not "click on pixel 25x35", or if it records "triggered feature Z" and not "pressed keyboard key X" then a newer version of blender could at least notify the user "in this version button X moved to location..."

i understand this is not magical and they will eventually need to be updated but it'd still be better

Re: Blender Interactive and Localized Documentation

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:36 am
by matt_e
zingbat wrote:I had this idea after reading that the Blender GUI upgrade will have something similar to Nendo
Will have -> will make possible. There's still needs to be someone to code such a tutorial recording feature, regardless of whether the upgrades will make this sort of thing easier.

Re: Blender Interactive and Localized Documentation

Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 1:33 pm
by joeri
broken wrote:
zingbat wrote:I had this idea after reading that the Blender GUI upgrade will have something similar to Nendo
Will have -> will make possible. There's still needs to be someone to code such a tutorial recording feature, regardless of whether the upgrades will make this sort of thing easier.
I'd be happy to do that to. Not sure I can.

Re: Blender Interactive and Localized Documentation

Posted: Wed May 02, 2007 12:55 am
by Marianne
joeri wrote:
broken wrote:
zingbat wrote:I had this idea after reading that the Blender GUI upgrade will have something similar to Nendo
Will have -> will make possible. There's still needs to be someone to code such a tutorial recording feature, regardless of whether the upgrades will make this sort of thing easier.
I'd be happy to do that to. Not sure I can.
Same for me. The problem with contributing to such large projects is that it takes a lot of time to get in it.