Learning Materials

William Prothero prothero at earthednet.org
Tue Oct 13 13:58:53 EDT 2015

I use the lessons.runrev site a lot. It has loads of good information. One limitation though, is that it takes us through the beginning steps, but often stops at the very useful stage. For example, the database lesson is great for local databases, but is not practical for server based databases. I don’t mean to complain. It’s good, as far as it goes, but…..

And…(aside).. I had NO IDEA that you could put images in text fields. Wonderful! For me, this is big!

As an example of a challenge I had recently was trying to get the names of members of a group. Finally, after a load of Google searching, I found that I had to get the number of members first, then cycle through each member to get a list of the names. It took me quite a while to find it and I searched with Google, the lessons, and Mark Schonewille’s excellent book where it didn’t seem to appear in the index. Simple, but opaque for the beginner. Also, do we call them “controls”, “objects”, “items”, “keys”, etc. Easy for the experienced, but opaque for the newbie.

Anyway, the very beginner needs basic stuff, but as she progresses, what is going to be on her/his mind is more task oriented. Like “how do I get a list of members of a group?” or “how should I organize my project?”, etc.The new course derived from the CreateIT course will be very helpful. However, it’s going to take the programmer quite a bit of poking around to find an answer to “how do I do xyz? Which lesson is it in? etc. Most of us do not start our learning at the beginning and work through all features. We jump in, create something, think of a project, then start on it.

I really think this would benefit by being a community project. It should link to or include the runrev.lessons. I’m not suggesting a wiki, but nevertheless the wiki software is very good at community created information, keeping track of revisions, commenting, etc. It would seem to be a very low cost implementation, but of course it would have to fit into “bigger picture” concerns I’m not aware of.

Incidentally, I found the explanation of how to use the datagrid to make a notes list very informative in the Create-IT course. 

Index and search are critical, and very challenging. I find my most effective, first use tool is Google. It searches the lessons, the forums, and other folks’ livecode sites too. 

Those are my ideas at this point, sent from the perspective of a moderately experienced new user.

> On Oct 12, 2015, at 1:35 AM, Heather Laine <heather at livecode.com> wrote:
> Folks...an awful lot of this "cookbook" type material is available at 
> http://lessons.runrev.com <http://lessons.runrev.com/>
> There is a comments facility, and when this was originally set up we invited community contributions. A number of people did contribute but for some considerable time now the only contributions have been from our staff.
> If anyone is really keen to contribute here I'm sure it could be arranged.
> Regards,
> Heather
> Heather Laine
> Customer Services Manager
> LiveCode Ltd
> www.livecode.com
>> On 11 Oct 2015, at 22:38, Michael Doub <mikedoub at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Would it be reasonable to ask Livecode to host a wiki site for documentation and examples?  I kind of like the idea of having the ability to add information or update when I see something that it out of date or unclear.
>> The problem is always organization and searching.   This would still need to be dealt with, but the wiki idea lets the community contribute and edit.
>> Sorry if this is out of context.  I am just catching back up on email.
>> -= Mike
>> On 10/11/15 1:34 PM, William Prothero wrote:
>>> Richard:
>>> Thanks for the info. I think a task-driven cookbook does really need to be community developed. There are so many emails here that ask “how do I do xyz?” or “xyz won’t work… why?” Compiling these, with dates and keywords, and a user commenting facility, would go a long way toward accomplishing this. If there was a web site where users could make these contributions and a reviewer of some sort could edit them prior to inclusion in the “master cookbook”, that might work.
>>> For me, my main frustration is getting an app onto iPhone. There is a tutorial on the livecode site, which helped me a lot. Later, after I forgot its details, I tried to make a new iOS app and got burned by the provisioning profile, which I tried to make generic, but LC wouldn’t accept a generic one. When I went back to the original tutorial, I got it working, but it took me more than a day to get there. So, I dread my next try at iOS. Also, getting an Apple certificate is another hurdle and I haven’t accomplished that yet, as I’ve been tryin got use AppWrapper 3 and it won’t work. Some kind of cookbook, that could be updated as Apple adds new hurdles and requirements, would be marvelous.
>>> I have a “Notebook” app that has the following headings. The headings I use currently are shown below. There are sub-headings with specific code and for different applications. It is just a collection, saved from the email list over the last two years for my own use and not refined for mass distribution.
>>> Array handling
>>> Behaviors
>>> Calling handlers, out of path hierarchy
>>> CEF Browser	
>>> Code signing
>>> Color-mouse-at loc
>>> Date
>>> DataGrid
>>> Debugger use and tricks
>>> Detect if app is running and user is "on" it.
>>> DNS mysteries
>>> Drag and Drop
>>> Email thru livecode server
>>> Encryption
>>> Fields, text display
>>> Files and directories
>>> Find out if some program is running
>>> Get Mac camera image
>>> Get Version in iOS
>>> Graphic effects
>>> Groups
>>> Images
>>> iOS mobile stuff
>>> Learning materials links
>>> Memory monitoring
>>> MobGui
>>> Mobile Copying stacks and using them as libraries
>>> Number precision
>>> PHP and databases
>>> Playing sound in SA and Mobile
>>> Playing sounds
>>> Printing
>>> Product version from script
>>> Scientific notation converter
>>> Screen scaling issues
>>> SnapShots
>>> Scrolling
>>> Server stuff
>>> Sorting
>>> Sockets
>>> SSH Tunneling
>>> Ssh and secure transfer
>>> Stacks and substacks
>>> Text Code: Parsing Delimited
>>> Text-Rotating
>>> Text to speech
>>> Text
>>> Time Zone Info
>>> User function names-getting them from scripts
>>> Video
>>> Widgets
>>> Best,
>>> Bill
>>>> On Oct 10, 2015, at 12:28 PM, Richard Gaskin <ambassador at fourthworld.com> wrote:
>>>> William Prothero wrote:
>>>>> I said we need a dictionary focussed on tasks, not on commands,
>>>>> but obviously we need both. I know Richard has been leading a
>>>>> group taking this on. Richard, is this happening?
>>>> The focus of an API reference like the LiveCode Dictionary will always have the language tokens as their primary index.  This can (and arguably should) be augmented with tags to support searching for strings conceptually related but not found in the token itself or its description.  I believe that's been put into place for the future, but regrettably not available in the current shipping product v7.
>>>> Task-driven documentation is traditionally the domain of things like "Cookbooks".   That format allows for the exploration of related concepts in a more detailed  way that would be clumsy or even distracting in a Dictionary. IIRC LiveCode 1.0 had Cookbook, but I'm not sure when it was dropped.
>>>> To answer your question about the Community Documentation Team, over the last year the core team at LiveCode Ltd. has been migrating all documentation content into Github markdown so that it can not only be more easily edited but also reviewed, merged, and compiled into the product build more easily as well.
>>>> Peter Brett at LiveCode Ltd. has taken on the role of stewarding community engagement projects like this one, and the process of migrating the content to markdown is now far enough along that my next meeting with Dr. Brett will focus on conveying the dynamics of the workflow so we can get to work.
>>>> The scope defined for the moment, however, is to update existing docs.
>>>> If there's a desire for a Cookbook I would encourage the community to consider establishing a wiki for that.  Indeed, there is one at wikia.com which may be a good starting point:
>>>> <http://livecode.wikia.com/wiki/Livecode_Wiki>
>>>> To help guide such an effort, let me ask you a question related to the CreateIt course you mentioned:
>>>> You've been using LiveCode for many years, and have made some substantial software with it.  At this point in your work, what topics would you find most valuable?
>>>> -- 
>>>> Richard Gaskin
>>>> LiveCode Community Manager
>>>> richard at livecode.org
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