WinMerge Quick Tour

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WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby denisbradford » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:36 pm

Hi.
Per a recent discussion with Kimmo, I've submitted Patch 2817443 for a Quick Tour.
It's a first draft, so feel free to suggest changes.

The patch has an attached 7z archive containing sources and build files. To test, drop the files into the existing 'Docs' structure and run one of these:

buildtour html
buildtour html withads
buildtour htmlhelp

The basic idea is a standalone tour, accessible in some combination of these outputs (for example in the tool and/or on winmerge.org), but not dependent on Help. I presume a newbie audience that may or may not have installed WinMerge - maybe they're just considering downloading.

We might want to change the focus of QuickStart in Help, but I suggest that we do that later: let's get the tour in shape first.

Thanks,
Denis
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby kimmov » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:49 pm

Thanks a lot for doing this - looks great! 8-)

I think this works best as HTML. Maybe it even could be one HTML page so you don't need to keep clicking mouse to see all topics. But, this just my feeling after looking at HTML help version. I mean that it probably would be easiest to just scroll and read through all topics, it isn't so long after all. Clicking topics stops the reading. Hmm. Can there be "Next topic" links/buttons in top/bottom in HTML help?

But then I can see this useful as added to users start menu and started optionally from installer or perhaps with first WinMerge startup.

I think one addition could be cool - more detailed feature list. We have feature list at least in web page. Its nice but I wonder if users understand what all those items mean. Some kind of "expanded" feature list with simple screenshot or short explanation attached could be nice. Hmm. Perhaps that is more enchantment of web page than for this quick start? I'm thinking something similar than http://whygitisbetterthanx.com/. All items closed you see nice overall list but get more details easily by clicking the item.
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby denisbradford » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:34 pm

Updated Patch 2817443 per your suggestions, and provided output for your viewing. I agree, the HTML is fine; CHM has some extra navigation but the tour is so short that it doesn't add much value.

I'll take a look at the feature list after the tour. It would be simple to hide and show content like the GIT list using CSS if everybody used a decent web browser. Of course, MSIE breaks the CSS so cross-browser dynamic HTML still requires Javascript, I think.
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby gerundt » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:05 am

denisbradford wrote:Of course, MSIE breaks the CSS so cross-browser dynamic HTML still requires Javascript, I think.


This is no problem. User without JavaScript see all content and user with JavaScript can show/hide the content they want. For example we hide currently the SHA-1 checksums by default with JavaScript on the download page.
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby denisbradford » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:48 pm

kimmov wrote:I think this works best as HTML. Maybe it even could be one HTML page


Submitted patch https://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=2817443&group_id=13216&atid=313216. Building a single HTML page actually uses a different DocBook stylesheet than the manual, so I have build.bat call a new XSL script for the tour. (Also eliminated the need for the separate 'build_html_withads.xsl' script.) Not sure if the patch was necessary since I can upload things in this forum now. If there are no objections I'll just check in the changes myself, and you can close the patch.

Please let me know how/if you plan to implement the tour: for example, add it to the Help menu or post it on Web site, or both. If it's available in WinMerge, I'll take a look at how Getting Started in the Help might change...

gerundt, thanks for the pointer to your Javascript, it works great. It should make it possible to consolidate the current feature list and screen shots, as Kimmo suggested.
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby kimmov » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:37 pm

denisbradford wrote:Not sure if the patch was necessary since I can upload things in this forum now. If there are no objections I'll just check in the changes myself, and you can close the patch.

Patch tracker is for tracking patches. So yes, I'd prefer patches are submitted there. It is easy to lose patches in discussion. Although Sf.net tracker isn't good its still a lot better than links to some discussion messages.

denisbradford wrote:and you can close the patch

You can close your own patches after they have been committed to SVN.

denisbradford wrote:Please let me know how/if you plan to implement the tour: for example, add it to the Help menu or post it on Web site, or both. If it's available in WinMerge, I'll take a look at how Getting Started in the Help might change...

Hmm. Good question. And I don't have any definite answer. I think it would work best in homepage. I'm afraid I don't have time to add new menuitems and installer tweaks before branching for next stable release. And since we have no solid idea how this will work I'm a bit nervous to add it "just before" the release.

Maybe it is best to just add it to the web pages now (for next stable version). Then we have more time to think about this. And after the stable release in next experimental release series (2.15.x) we can more freely do some experiments with adding the tour to WinMerge installer, menus etc.

Anyway, I like the content you have created and how it now works as HTML. I'm perfectly happy to have it in our web pages. For adding it to web pages you should work with Tim. I think it can be added as soon as you have time to do it - no need to wait for next release etc.
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby denisbradford » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:29 am

Ok, committed changes to trunk as noted in https://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=2817443&group_id=13216&atid=313216. Reassigned patch to Tim and asked him to implement tour as web page.
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby gerundt » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:25 am

The best place at the website should the Documentation area, or?
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby kimmov » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:58 am

Probably. And link to tour page in page where new users easily find it. Perhaps in front page's What is WinMerge? -box?
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Re: WinMerge Quick Tour

Postby denisbradford » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:59 pm

>> The best place at the website should the Documentation area, or?
Yes, I think a link in the doc page (first item in the list) would be good.

> Perhaps in front page's What is WinMerge? -box?
Makes sense to me too.
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