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Extending the user help

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17 Posts   4574 Views


Community Member, 16 Posts

29 December 2008 at 10:44am

This topic has been started some time ago and you can follow it up here:

And now its time to give a short presentations and some brief plans on how the new user help could look like (post attachments). Please send me your feedback.

Besides is there any progress in upgrading the user help page from SilverStripe 2.1 to 2.3 ?
I'm asking because I've just been thinking lately wouldn't it be better to do the new user help in DocuWiki just like the developers help is build?

Adam Walczak


Community Member, 400 Posts

31 December 2008 at 10:29pm

This is great, you have done a good job here, nice on :)

this will be a great help for the new users, I would like to help if there is any opportunity.

Carbon Crayon

Community Member, 598 Posts

1 January 2009 at 1:20am

Great work mate, I would be happy to help out too :)


Community Member, 16 Posts

3 January 2009 at 9:23am

Edited: 03/01/2009 9:55am

I'm glad to hear from some people willing to help :)

I'm planning to start working as I have to have an initial version ready by the end of January. I just need some answers from the SilverStripe developers before I can start. We need to discuss would it be better to do the new user help on DokuWiki or SivlerStripe?

I think DokuWiki would be more suitable for collaborative work on this manual and it would be much easier to make a distributable package from it (as DokuWiki doesn't use a database).

On the other hand was there any effort put in upgrading the user helps SilverStripe to the new version? My be if we choose this solution we should just migrate the helps content to an fresh SilverStripe install ?

Please give me a fast reply as I have to get going with this.

PS. I'm also trying to choose an good flash player to play the screen cast. It would be good if the player could play a cast which audio and video streams are in separate files so that the audio would be selected depending on the language version. Does any one have any suggestion ?


Community Member, 1 Post

4 January 2009 at 4:59pm

I like what you're proposing.

I'm just getting started with SS and finding it both powerful and slow going. The basics are simple, but beyond that, it takes a while to find out how to do something, or more specifically where to look. I'm meandering through the variety of documentation that exists and learning through trial by fire. I don't mind sharing what I learn and would also enjoy helping to update the documentation. Please count me in to help.

For what it's worth, I prefer the DokuWiki approach as well - at least to get the bulk of the content put together.



Forum Moderator, 5523 Posts

4 January 2009 at 6:04pm

Just as a note, We are currently reworking the documentation and it will be using mediawiki instead of dokuwiki (not that I fully agree with this). I don't know if you want to consider this rather then have user help on doku and docs on mediawiki which could get confusing.


Community Member, 16 Posts

5 January 2009 at 1:23am

Ok. If the developers documentation will be on media wiki I think we should go for the mediawiki for the user help as well.

Is there any mediawiki spec in the community that could help patch it a little and set it up on my server for now?

We would need some extensions that would add a side menu similar to the one in the original user help and the wikibooks functionality so we can print it in to a pdf ebook in the future.


Forum Moderator, 801 Posts

6 January 2009 at 6:22pm

Thanks for the detailed plan of attack!

Re: mediawiki vs. dokuwiki
Currently the userhelp is based on a SilverStripe installation, which isn't an inherently bad thing. I'd expect the group of editors to be quite small, to the extent of 2-3 per language. This smaller group could just as well collaborate in a CMS context, and use our upcoming workflow (publication-approval) mechanisms. We can still gather input and errata through user comments. The barrier of entry for a userhelp author is naturally higher (apply for a CMS account rather than anonymous edit), but given the fact that the userhelp is rather prominently linked in all SilverStripe installations out there leads me to think that "quick fixes" should be avoided anyway - there should be a light editorial review process. So: I'd suggest sticking with the tool we know (SilverStripe), and taking it from there.

Re: Audio/Video Learning
Do people have experiences with this? Do your clients actually use it? I would put the priority for videocasts far below a well-written handbook, but perhaps thats just because i'm a techie?

Re: Comments on userhelp
Thats an easy one - just enable the disqus service, see :)

Re: I18n
Again, SilverStripe can help here - although page translations are still early stage...
Obviously its a big motiviation and criteria for most non-english developers to have user-level learning resources in their native tongue, so this is a critical factor which we need to improve on one way or the other.

The most important task at hand is in my opinion: review the existing content, update text and screenshots to fit 2.3. If this involves restructuring the content - walec51, could you elaborate a table of contents for this?

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