Documentation & Books
c.list at fiberworld.nl
Fri Jul 9 06:22:28 CDT 2004
Great things, some true, some usefull, some to the point and some less
to the point, have been said in his thread, and I have been reading it
My interest stems also from the fact that I am currently working on a
project which deals with the organising, sorting and presenting of
information. A personal, well I hate the word assistend in this
context, but it will serve you well. It should even learn from the way
you interact with the program and the way you organise information in
yor head, the way you think.
The funny thing is even if you have all the facts, this doesn't mean
you understand or are able to use, the information. If your internal
representation of the facts isn't in the right way for YOU, then the
facts mean didtly to you. In that case your not able to combine the
facts in a way that makes sense to YOU. This is something I find very
often amiss in manuals and teaching books.
While I was still in school I very quickly became aware that not so
much learning was important but understanding. Most people "learned"
algebra, mathematics, physics or chemestry. Well guess what, the moment
you understand a certain principle you don't need to memorize and
"learn" a lot. Since you understand what's going on you can always
deduce the facts again when you need them.
More over it doesn't matter that much if you forget the facts, which
you tend to to over time, you can recreate them again and again.
Teachers and manuals, which act as a sort of teacher, don't they,
should be keenly aware of this fact.
It's about understanding and the CONNEXION between the different pieces
of information is the vihicul and the means to do this. Facts in itself
have very little informational value. This is one of the "flaws" of the
documantation. I know there is a popUp with related topics in the
documentation but that's not quite the same as what I am saying. The
what's related feature, is just a list of simular topics. It doesn't
explicitly try to make a broader understanding available to the reader.
People tend to learn in many different ways and use different
strategies to do it. Some people learn by what's different from what
they know, others by what is the same, the likeness. Some are very
visual and without explicit pictures they have a hard time to learn,
others like step by step instrucions. Manuals should be made to exploit
all these different features people use to learn. Unfortunatly this is
very exeptional. (I hope I'll do it right)
There is yet another very important aspect about information and facts.
The meaning of everything, litteraly everything, depends on the
context. Change the context and you change the meaning. This means that
the cross conexions between information are at least as important as
the information itself, since information without context is no
information at all. Those very small very specific exampless, have not
much informational value. Examples should be "real world" working
demonstrations of a principle. Since it's more than just a specific
fact it wil automaticly show, and 'teach' other principles as well
along the way. Personaly I learn best from "real live" examples and I
believe this works for a lot of people.
Having said all this, I am putting the last hand on a I believe a much
needed tutorial about scrolling. For the project I am working on I
needed a huge "virtual" space where liturally hundreds of different
objects can be moved around and interacted upon. (I sure hope
revolution can handle this) So I needed a scrolling card and a lot of
features for the scrolling.(automatic expanding in 3 directions and
blocking in the fourth) It took me an awfull lot of time to get this
working. (no examples that I found about this kind of scrolling Simply
scrolling a picture is no problem, in fact it's trivial, but if you
need more complex possibility's and features, well take a deep breath
'cause you're in for quite a journy or . . . . . . . wait a couple of
days and read my tutorial as I will make my discovery's available to
all. I think these kind of things should be standart examples 'cause a
lot of programs could benefit from it or indeed tare dependend on this
feature. Like it is now we all have to invent the wheel by ourself,
wich seems to me a kind of waist of time.
I have a couple of other ideas for tutorials, namly hings I stumble on
myself while developing my app and learning revolution. (tricks with
groups, selecting multiple objects by clicking or drawing a marquee
around them and my adventure with trying to take a OOP apraoch to
creating objects even with inheritance and all. I don't know wether it
will work but I certainly gonna try this, 'cause I could use it.)
As soon as this first tutorial is presentable I'll post the link on
this list, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel again, when you need
somemore complex scrolling done.
In the mean time happy programming
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