Re: scrollkeeper categories will put new users off the documentation

Hi Don, thanks for getting back on this.

On Tue, 2006-01-24 at 11:34 +0000, Don Scorgie wrote:
> Hi,
> On Mon, 2006-01-23 at 17:56 +0000, Matthew East wrote:
> > Dear doc-lists,
> > 
> > I just noticed a new category has come into Yelp: GNU Info files.
> > 
> > While I applaud the fact that more information is available from Yelp,
> > it now means that there are two categories on the front page of our
> > GNOME help browser which new users will not understand in any way, shape
> > or form: Man pages, and GNU Info files.


> > This will cause users simply to close the help browser, I'm afraid.
> > 
> > Where did discussion take place about this change? I'm subscribed to
> > both these lists but didn't see it. If this isn't the correct forum,
> > where can I direct a brief tirade?
> We seem to have developed a strange complicated system for communication
> between us, involving, in equal parts, these mailing lists, bugzilla
> comments, IRC, mental telepathy and guessing.

Ok, that's always the way. No problem: I'll try and hang out more on

> The initial patch for this was posted to:
> in a bug report about not finding info pages in the index of yelp...
> Subsequent discussion occured on IRC.
> The reason they are on the front page (I actually like them there, but
> thats just me) is that I was reusing a lot of the Man page code for
> generating the TOC and since man pages are on the front page, thats
> where info pages ended up.
> Just to point out that scrollkeeper doesn't know anything about the info
> or man pages.  They're table-of-content entries are generated
> independantly from the other categories.

So, just to get this clear: are there technical reasons that prevent the
Manual Pages and Info pages from being relegated to a secondary page? If
so, the discussion will have to end here until those are overcome.

If not, I'd like to continue the discussion, because in my mind the
front page of Yelp (which is now a much better help viewer than it was
in the previous release, due to increased speed, searching etc), is
really going to mean that Yelp (and by consequence the user
documentation) will be used less by users who open it looking for
accessible, easy help. If the categorisation on the front page is not
watertight, then users will stop right there because they will not know
where to look for information.

Having categories on the front page which not only fail to come within
the categorisation structure which already exists (Desktop,
Applications, Other) but are also called things which don't make sense
to the user, will surely result in the user becoming disillusioned with
the help on offer, and going elsewhere. This is something we really need
to avoid if Yelp is going to get used.

The Desktop/Applications/Other categorisation is not exactly logical
either, but that's for another day I think.

My solution would be to include Manual Pages and Info pages in "Other
Documentation" or "Advanced Documentation" on a secondary page. That
way, everybody wins, the new users don't get put off, and the advanced
users can read their manuals in Yelp. But let's face it, the priority
here must be the new users: because advanced users are (a) less likely
to give up quickly, and (b) more likely to have the ability to find the
advanced documentation they need.

An alternative solution is to give "Manual Pages" and "GNU Info Pages"
better names, but I confess I can't think what those might be, at the

mdke ubuntu com
gnupg pub 1024D/0E6B06FF

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