help systems: screenplays vs. "red circles"

Tom Vogt wrote:

> > the one i'd like to comment on here is screenplays. it's a wonderful
> > idea, but i rather like "the mac way" myself: rather than doing it for
> > you, or showing you and making you repeat, it puts a big red magic
> > marker circle around the next step (a menu choice or button, for
> > instance) and makes you do it yourself. doing it yourself is the best
> > way imo, but let me disclaim: i'm sure a lot of research has been done
> > in learning techniques, so my opinion and experience in this isn't going
> > to be as authoritative as my experience with gui's.
> any way to realize this red stuff? it strikes me as being superior to
> screenplays for two reasons in addition to your own: a) it's much easier
> scriptable, without having to be "vorturner" as the germans say. b) it
> allows for interaction, feedback and adjusts itself automatically to the
> speed of the user.

the best thing i can tell you on this one is to find a mac somewhere
running a recent version of the mac os and give it a spin (from the
"help" menu). it looks pretty good, works well, isn't the slightest bit
confusing, and is a very memorable way to teach.

the big red magic-marker circles are pretty cool in themselves: they're
translucent, so they don't cover up any valuable parts of the screen,
but make themselves quite clear nonetheless. this will soon be easy to
do, with the alpha-channel transparency stuff raster's been working on
for imlib 2.0.

i haven't seen examples of the screenplay help system, though, so i
can't make an intelligent comparison. anybody seen this in action that
can point me to it?
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

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