Where's the Documentation????

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HerbKilby
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Where's the Documentation????

Post by HerbKilby » Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:34 am

I know this is not new ground.  I've been search the forum all day, I have looked in help, i have looked in developers, I have looked high and low.  The only think I can find that discribes anything about how to make joomla do anything comes from users and help screens if you can call them that (they merely tell you what fields you are looking at, not what they do).

Most of the queries about documentation start and end in September.

Your help section's main content is how to migrate from Mambo..... I'm not. I'm trying to make this thing work for me.

How can we be so far down the road and not have documentation?

Example: I'm exploirng the admin panel and come to mambots: mosloadpositon, I'm faced with some fields out of a table, the help mere tells me exactly what the form is showing me.  There's a parameters field that let's me choose a style.  Selecting anything and everything  in the options and saving them and then looking at the front end display shows no change.  So what does it do and how is it used?

I could go on and on.  If I was a programmer, I build my own system.  At least I'd know what it is, how it works, and what I can and can't do with it.

This is so frustrating.  There shouldn't be a learning curve of weeks, months, or years.  Heck, to build a template, you have to have some idea of what is going to be outputted, so you can display it.  Not only that, you have to have a completed template to install it.  How do you build it from scratch and test it before it is complete?

Can someone give me some idea when we will see something other than promises of things to come?

I have now invested several weeks trying to get a site developed and am on the verge of abandoning this program completely.

I was under the impression that joomla is being developed by the original mambo crew.  But from the amount of information available to the user, you'd think they were walking along and stumbled on a project and decided that they'd give it a try.

Is this project so bloated that no one can really figure out what does what?
There are 10 types of people: Those that understand binary and those that don't

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charlwillia6
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Re: Where's the Documentation????

Post by charlwillia6 » Sun Nov 20, 2005 3:32 am

Hi HerbKilby,

I am sorry to here about your frustrations with Joomla.  I am not sure if you have used Mambo, or been to Mamboserver, but we offer the same exact Help Screens (except a few or ours have been updated) that they have.  In fact, they were converted over directly from their server and the team's archives. 

Our documentation is always being revised and always being re-written.  Unfortunately, the development team moves faster than the Doc team because we are comprised of mostly volunteers from the community.

As to your reference to us not having documentation that tells you what "something" is, such as a mambo, I think our chapters do give new members some helpful information.  Such as here: http://help.joomla.org/content/view/92/153/

All the chapters that we have for Joomla (http://help.joomla.org/content/category/16/101/146/ or http://help.joomla.org/content/section/16/153/) try to explain to new users exactly what the standard modules, components, and mambots do within Joomla.  The Help Screens are basically appendix's to the chapters, and are there to do what you said they do, explain how to navigate through the administrative side of Joomla.  There are pages upon pages of information in the help area of Joomla.org to help new users, so I am not exactly sure what you are looking for that we don't have.  Searching the help site for keywords is a great way to find what you are looking for. 

The forum is the next step when you can't find answers.  If you have truly searched in the help site and have not found what you need, search the forums.  I have found priceless information here just searching.  If I can't find it here, I post a question.  This community is fast on responses and try their best to answer what they can.  The best thing is that they are users learning just like you. 
Heck, to build a template, you have to have some idea of what is going to be outputted, so you can display it.  Not only that, you have to have a completed template to install it.  How do you build it from scratch and test it before it is complete?
In response to template development, check out the developer documentation: http://help.joomla.org/content/section/12/125/.  It is a little more technical, but it tells you exactly what you need to know in reference to Joomla's "output." 

One thing you won't find in our help site right now, but we are working on, is 3rd party documentation.  If you want information for a component or module that you added to Joomla, go directly to their homepage or the developer that has made the add-on.  All the information that you need should be supplied by them. 

Search Google for tutorials.  A few:

http://www.joomlatutorials.com/
http://www.mambohut.com/index.php?optio ... 2&Itemid=0
http://www.joomlaresource.com/joomla_tutorials/
http://www.joomlademo.com/
http://www.joomlaya.com/index.php?optio ... &Itemid=83

See, there is a lot of information on the Internet that is there for all Joomla users.  I have never been without resources.  Joomla does have a learning curve, but once you have the information, it is quite easy to use.

Last:  If you still cannot find what you are looking for, even though I think you could without doing this, you can still look at mamboserver.com.  Since the beginning stages of Joomla are still much like Mambo, a lot of the old information in the forums and on their website still applies.  Much of the information there was answered or posted by developers and users in our community before the change.  It is a shame we cannot just port it all over to here, but they are still very good resources when you can't find the answer here. 

So please don't feel frustrated.  Just ask.  That is the best thing to do.  We are here to help out one another.  Just try to search to the best of your abilities first. 

And, if after all this, you think we are doing something wrong, then just give us specifics, the exact issues, and maybe post what you think a solution would be.  We are open to suggestions.  We just need as much information as you can give us.  Any suggestions are most welcomed.
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HerbKilby
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Re: Where's the Documentation????

Post by HerbKilby » Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:34 am

I have been to all of those sites, and can probably extend you list two or three fold.

The point I was trying to make was that even your list only points to one reference at joomla.org that is truely useful developers section), the rest only lacking the "on the to do list" label.

I understand that this is not a for profit effort and that most of the work is done on a when I can get to it schedule.  Look at the last updated dates for the manual..... all are mid to late September.

I do want to thank you for your response.  But could the staff quit comparing joomla to mambo, or acting like users are defectors from some Communist country called mambo.  I looked at mambo, read their forum and their road map and chose joomla as the program that showed a more productive future.

Some one needs to start putting some information into the Administrator documents.

I haven't even started looking at 3pd products yet, I'm still trying to figure out the potential and harness the power of joomla that everyone raves about.

We don't need another "idiots guide" to joomla, just a what the core componets are, what the settings in the admin panel do.  We don't even need an example of what it will or could do, how to make and use the settings without spending hours trying to figure out what we did wrong now.

It's up to the 3pd community to promote and inform about their products.  I have a whole list of things I'd like to do when I get the basics down.

Thanks again
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manuman
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Re: Where's the Documentation????

Post by manuman » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:20 am

Whilst I appreciate your difficulties finding the specific documentation your after I would ask your indulgence, as I'm sure your aware there have been some major changes in the last few months. Your quite correct the entire Core Team did move, but the documentation team was (at Mambo) made up of half a dozen if not less regular contributers.

Since the move we have been working very very hard to create new teams and provide a much better documentation set, we currently have over 20 volunteers who are actively working toward the common goal of better documentation. We make absolutely no excuses if this is not happening fast enough as we would prefer to get it right than speed through and end up with a lot of information poorly written and presented.

In the coming months you will see some very major changes and improvements on the help site, until then I simply ask you give the Doc Team (most of whom are new and still finding their feet) a chance to catch up.

Incidentally... have you asked for answers in the forums, people here are very ready to help.

Cheers
Shayne
Shayne Bartlett - Joomla Co-Founder
CTO/Web Architect: Elastik Space https://elastik.space / Elastik Digital https://elastik.digital

rdb
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Re: Where's the Documentation????

Post by rdb » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:38 am

Try this link. If it doesn't take you directly to section #2 on the page look for the "Mambo Demos and Tutorials - Flash" section.

http://forum.mamboserver.com/showthread ... post202562

The demo's were created originally for Mambo but most of it still applies.

Hope this helps...
-- Joomla! Evangelist


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