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is there a cohesive organized and up to date manual for the latest version ?

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The program is great. The documentation system is convoluted, confusing and separated by methods (PDF, web, videos) so as to just increase my frustration every time I try to get a thorough understanding of it. I truly appreciate the videos, but they are not a manual.

A manual goes section by section. It addresses each item/tool, it details workflow. It can be used as a reference after going through it once over to look up tools, menus, commands and techniques. It has an appendix, glossary, table of contents, addresses all the programs features and their use. As they now function. It exists in one place. It's fine to append information for new features on a web site but it needs a sound foundation.

Right now I feel stupid when trying to grasp the program. I think quality documentation is as important, if not more so, than the programs code.

Am I the odd man out and everyone else just gets it, or are there others as lost as I am?.

Thanks,

Kevin L.

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THE CURRENT MANUAL

Unless I'm severely mistaken, the Online Manual isn't even a Wiki (despite being labeled as a Manual Wiki on the LEARN page).

It's just a WordPress site with posts in different categories, and as such it has a very "open" structural organization. (It certainly isn't easy to read in a linear fashion; but the posts are searchable.)

Most of the current WordPress based Manual posts seems to be written by Javis Jones; although author information is hidden by default on the manual pages.

HOW I WOULD DO IT

If I was responsible for the 3D-Coat Manual, I would write the documentation in Sphinx/RestructuredText format and keep the source in a Subversion (SVN) or Git repository.

Subversion would allow distributed editing by multiple authors, with full version history and all the associated revision control tools of SVN.

Sphinx/RestructuredText on the other hand would allow us to use a very simple text based source format which is easy to edit locally (eg. absolutely great for multipage text replacements), easy to built to multiple destination formats (Sphinx currently has writer modules for HTML, HTML5, CHM, Latex, PDF, ODT, ManPage, epub, and more...). Also, the entire sphinx toolset is available for Windows, Linux and OSX.

The produced HTML output can be themed; it has great support for navigation controls, including table of contents, prev/next page, breadcrumbs, indexes, built-in search, etc.

Sphinx is currently used to built documentation for a number of large-scale projects, including Python and Blender. (See full list at Projects using Sphinx.)

The default Sphinx themes are not very impressive, but I have extensive knowledge in using/customizing Sphinx, and I know how to make Sphinx HTML5 output look absolutely beautiful. (One of the best base-themes to use for Sphinx projects, is the Cloud Sphinx Theme 1.7. Use it as a base, and customize according to project needs.)

Cheers,
AgentSam

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18 hours ago, Carlosan said:

outdated

 

@Carlosan:

What was that in reply to?

Also, I'm wondering, is the old wiki page still useful in someway?

(If I'm not mistaken, the last page edits to it were made in 2012.)

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Err, we have an up to date manual, (or recently up to date). Link is in my Sig.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

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Where? I can't see any link to a manual in anyone's sig. 

I found a link to a pdf for 4.0 which is kinda like a manual...  well, it's a lot better than the terrible online one anyway. Did the online one change recently? as in all the videos i see, when they refer to the online manual it actually looks like a proper, useful resource. 

Anyway... here's hoping for a proper up-to-date manual sometime... :)

 

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3 hours ago, Beddall said:

Where? I can't see any link to a manual in anyone's sig. 

I found a link to a pdf for 4.0 which is kinda like a manual...  well, it's a lot better than the terrible online one anyway. Did the online one change recently? as in all the videos i see, when they refer to the online manual it actually looks like a proper, useful resource. 

Anyway... here's hoping for a proper up-to-date manual sometime... :)

 

Hi.

The link is no longer in my sig. Here is it: http://3dcoat.com/manual/

 

Since you mention two different manuals, which online manual are you referring when you say "terrible" and which one are you referring to when you say "proper, useful resource"? For reference, there is an older wiki that hasn't been updated in some time, and a new manual that I update regularly. And to be frank, the new manual is fine, it is "proper" and up to date to version 4.7 with most of the features. I'm not sure what videos you're referring to that show the online manual either, since you have provided no links. Either way, just use the one I provided above for the official manual.

If you're looking for training oriented materials, there are a lot of those available, too.

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