Wish Trobergs big wishlist, part 3: Help


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3. Help

* Wiki. I realize that writing a good help is a big problem in itself, but with a wiki, we can all pitch in.
* Context F1-help like in VB. When you hit F1, you will be sent to the apropriate page in the wiki.
* Descriptions need to be better (especially with cryptically named stuff, like arg1, but also valid values (one should not have to plough forum posts to find the valid values for, say, SupportedOrientations, to find sensorLandscape)
* Examples. More examples are needed.
* Cookbooks, step by step for stuff like (much of this already exist in the forum, so it¨'s more a mattor of organizing it):
** How to do licensing
** How to do in-app payments
** How to deploy to Google Play
** How to do accelerated graphics
** How (and when) to save/load settings
** How to get app listed for tablets in Google Play
** How to make an app that can install to external storage
** ...
* Best practice-code (overlaps a lot with cookbooks). Showing by example to help people making better code.


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I knew the wiki existed, it was more about how I thought it could be further utilised.
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There are hundreds of tutorials and more than 300k posts in the forum. The only way to find an answer is to use the search engine. The search engine in this site (which is a custom search engine that I wrote based on Lucene) is quite good and you can usually find the answer if such exists.

Run some tests with queries based on your topics:
in-app purchases
deploy to google play
accelerated graphics

All return the most relevant results (or posts that link to the most relevant).


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Well, those are just examples, and I didn't search when I listed them. I know for a fact that, even after searching, I did have problems with deploying to Google Play.

Whichever way you look at it, a forum is not a very effective form of storing reference information. It does work, but it could be better.

Also, don't underestimate how a cookbook could be "inspiration fuel". I have several apps, and casually browse through the cookbook. Suddenly I see something and think "Hm, I could add that to my app...". Of course, you can do that with a forum as well, but that more or less requires you to be there when the issue is discussed, because you are not likely to search for something you don't know exists.

What I believe, is that, by creating a place in the wiki for such things, people will add content, either original content or content from the forum.

That said, the most important item on the list is context sensitive help. I miss being able to just place the caret on a keyword and hit F1 and get relevant help immediately.


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"F1" context sensitive help would be an absolute mega improvement for me :D

I usually find everything I need in the forum and it's pretty rare that I need to ask a question, BUT searching the forum is time consuming. Worst still is when you are directed to a post that has several pages :mad:

I can fully understand @Erel requesting users to create a new post for each question as it makes searching for the relavent answers easier. Last night it took me several searches to find the thread that told me how to create an event for detecting when a sliding menu was opened. The problem I had was that before searching I didn't know which sliding menu it applied to (there are several), and the actual post was three pages into the thread. I kept searching with different search terms because I knew it existed, having seen it some time ago.

The other issue I find a lot is knowing what is actually still current and relevant. There are several ways of doing most things, which is the preferred way for new Android device? I sometimes find it very confusing :oops:

Please don't misinterpret this post, I think B4A is an absolutely fantastic product and @Erel has done an amazing job. But for someone like me, trying to learn the language, "F1" context sensitive help would be awesome.