OpenCS manual

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Zini
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by Zini » 28 Jul 2014, 18:11

Well, it is Latex. You can create all kind of formats from the source. That it is suitable for printing doesn't mean it can't be used for online formats. Personally I don't give a rats arse about printed books anymore, but there are still people out there who prefer them, so we should accommodate them too.

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crysthala
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by crysthala » 28 Jul 2014, 18:26

My point was mostly that this is all academic until we have actual text for the manual, so we should focus on getting that first rather than trying to hunt for suitable programs--once we have information, we can deal with that. But right now, from what I can see in here, you guys are all focused on "should we write in program X or program Y." Which is not, in my view, terribly productive. You can have all the doc-generating novel-planning website-building print-layout-making software you want, but it doesn't do any good without any content to put in there.

Speaking of the content we're putting in there, is there a complete list somewhere of existing functions in the OCS? If not, we should probably make one, and add to it every time a new feature is coded in, just to establish what we're actually writing tutorials for.

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Zini
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by Zini » 28 Jul 2014, 18:38

My point was mostly that this is all academic until we have actual text for the manual, so we should focus on getting that first rather than trying to hunt for suitable programs--once we have information, we can deal with that. But right now, from what I can see in here, you guys are all focused on "should we write in program X or program Y." Which is not, in my view, terribly productive. You can have all the doc-generating novel-planning website-building print-layout-making software you want, but it doesn't do any good without any content to put in there.
I do not see that. There was a very brief discussion about picking a format (which turned out to be Latex). We are certainly not focused on that. Anyway, this is kinda the point of Latex (and similar markup languages). You focus on your text and forget about output format and layout for now.
Speaking of the content we're putting in there, is there a complete list somewhere of existing functions in the OCS? If not, we should probably make one, and add to it every time a new feature is coded in, just to establish what we're actually writing tutorials for.
There is no such list. Feel free to create one.

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crysthala
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by crysthala » 28 Jul 2014, 19:08

I'll have a go at making a list of the features in the 0.31.0 CS I can find--not full tutorials, just a list. I'll put it on the wiki, so everybody can add new stuff and things I missed, and link from this thread when it's up. Sound cool?

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Zini
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by Zini » 28 Jul 2014, 19:47

Sure. Makes sense.

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crysthala
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by crysthala » 28 Jul 2014, 20:07

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/OCS_feature_list

Got up through Classes and had to stop. I'm sure I've missed things, as I've gone through very quickly. Do you get the gist of how it's organized, or do I need to explain it? It makes sense to me, but people always tell me how weird I am, so...

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Zini
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by Zini » 28 Jul 2014, 20:32

Looks mostly okay. A few comments:

1. What you call launcher window, we normally call the startup window.
2. General Window controls: These are not specific to OpenCS and in fact depending on the Window manager you use these can vary. That makes them clearly out of scope for the OpenCS manual.
3. View Menu -> Show Status Bar: Shows/hide the status bar. This is a per-subview status-bar, not a global one. If you don't have any subviews open, you won't see any difference.
4. View Menu -> Filters -> ID: Almost everything in OpenCS has an ID. Isn't really internal.
5. View Menu -> Filters -> Modified: This column is not specific to filters and it is a bit more complicated than just base file/added (the current manual has some text about it).
6. World Menu -> Region Map: No mentioning of the context menu
7. You are generally a bit inconsistent regarding listing functionality that is shared between tables (for example in some sections you list the record filter and in some not). Maybe it would better to factor common functionality out into separate sections.
8. Edit spell window: There are dialgoue subviews (that is what we call these things internally) for all records, not just spells.
9. Most of the drag and drop system is not listed.
10. The preview subview is not listed.
11. The scene subview is not listed.
12. When listing table subviews you probably should make a clear distinction between the columns in that table (e.g. ID or modified) and the functions that are used to operate on that table (e.g. revert or the record fitler).
13. You mentioned a lock function several times. I think you mean the clone button (difficult to get good metaphors with icons at that size).

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crysthala
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by crysthala » 29 Jul 2014, 18:54

  1. Renamed it
  2. Removed that section
  3. Changed to your description
  4. I meant "internal" in the sense of "not visible to the player," but all righty.
  5. Does the "modified" column deserve its own section? I had just been including it everywhere I noticed it, assuming it meant something slightly different in each context.
  6. Added it
  7. I was going to list the "record filter" in each window's section individually, with the intent that we would list usable filters and their effects in the context of each window; alternately, we can move the "record filter" usage to the Filters section if you think having it all together would be preferable. However, I don't feel having a separate section for it on its own would be appropriate, as it doesn't really do anything on its own (without the filters subview thing) unless you've memorized all the possible filter texts, which the average user would not.
  8. Missed that entirely. I was wondering how you were supposed to edit the damn things. It seems like they all have several features in common; should we list the common features in a dedicated section, with subsections for specific types? I.e., have a Subview section, Common Subview Controls subsection with ID, record type, preview/clone/delete/etc, then more subsections that list different types--activators, spells, potions, etc, with each type's unique functions?
  9. Not sure what you mean by "drag and drop system." Presumably you can drag references into containers and cells as in the CS... is there more than that and the filters thing? If so, does drag-and-drop deserve its own section?
  10. Found and added the preview subview.
  11. Found and added the scene subview. Is there actual object selection and movement functionality yet? Can't figure that out.
  12. Yeah, that's a good point. That's probably going to help when we write the actual manual, so I'll see about reorganizing this stuff that way.
  13. That's a clone button? Didn't call that at all. Okay, changed it.
Also added in some things I missed the first time, but I'm holding off on another en-masse data add until we decide on the stuff above. That's the public explanation; privately, I'm starving and don't want to do that anymore. :p

I have to say, I really like the OCS so far. I barely know what I'm doing, but it's already WAY more flexible than Bethesda's toolkits, and I much prefer all the windows/panels to Bethesda's endless dialog boxes. And multiple views! Woohoo! I'm not even a hardcore modder, and I love it. :geek:

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Zini
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by Zini » 29 Jul 2014, 19:39

5. It kinda does deserve its own section. Or a subsection. At least it needs to be explained somewhere and you probably also want to include related functions, e.h. revert and how these modification states interact with other functions like delete.

7. Actually, I expect even slightly more advanced users to pick up bits and pieces of the filter language. Its just to convenient to ignore it. Besides, you can also construct one shot filters via drag and drop.

8. The features in the dialogue subviews are the same as in the table subviews. They are just ordered a bit differently. And the edit subviews have additional fields that can't be easily represented and edited in table format.
In my opinion the general editing functions like delete, revert, new record and such should be explained separately from the tables and the dialogues (with an explanation how they are accessed from both). The data fields in the tables could be explained on a per-table basis (except for those that are shared between tables), but it doesn't make sense to repeat the explanation in the respective dialogue subview, because (as mentioned before) these are the same fields.

9. Drag and drop definitely needs its own section. Its one of the most important features of OpenCS. Here are a few examples:
- create a one-shot filter by dragging an ID to the record filter box (e.g. drag a region to the cell table record filter box -> create a filter that only shows cells within this region)
- drag an ID to a field in the table to set its value (e.g. drag a referecnable ID to the referecenable ID cell of a reference)
- drag one or more cells (either from the cell table or the region map) to a scene subview to view these cells
- drag a region to a cell in the region map to change the region of that cell

11. Nope. No object selection or editing yet.

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Okulo
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Re: OpenCS manual

Post by Okulo » 29 Jul 2014, 20:40

Zini wrote:7. Actually, I expect even slightly more advanced users to pick up bits and pieces of the filter language. Its just to convenient to ignore it. Besides, you can also construct one shot filters via drag and drop.
Yeah, there really needs to be a good explanation of the filters. Finding "Rat" in the Referenceable table, for example, is incredibly unintuitive right now. I've told someone (a quite computer-savvy one, too - he's a programmer by trade, Bachelor's degree in computer sciences, blah blah) to give it a try, and he did three things: 1. CTRL-F ("That doesn't do anything..."), 2. Scroll down ("Not going to bother with that..."), 3. Write "rat" in the filterbox at the top ("I did spell 'rat' correctly, right? What else does that box do?"). When I told him there was a filter syntax in the program, he looked at me if as I was insane.

I don't know if you're planning on keeping it like this - I pray to the gods that you don't - but if you are, it needs to be extensively documented with examples and everything.

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