Monday, August 19, 2013

This is not a trick!

Go to Help Contents with your Social Edition designer client and enter '@Member' into the search box.  The old, familiar, formula language reference is the 15th entry on the third page!  And why did I notice this?  I use Help all the time.  I mean, does the value or stringlist come first?  Depends on the function.  And whats the difference between @IsMember and @Member?  If I had to remember all this, I might not have room to remember my wife's cell phone number, which is pretty important.

So have you noticed the reformatting of the help file?  It looks like a lot of work went into this, but I wish they spent more time improving the run time error handling engine.  I mean, really - "Object variable not set"? Can you please tell me what variable?  And they same for "Type mismatch".  Although I do this so often I tend to find this pretty quickly.  And here is where the help files could be improved - the examples are too simplified.  They use constants in a lot of places where real developers might use a variable.

And I know everyone is focusing on xPages, but I still work with a lot of clients that have traditional Notes apps, and need to have small changes or even big fixes.  So, I still use help on a regular basis so I appreciate any changes, and keep them coming.

1 comment:

  1. Hi John,

    I know exactly what you mean and sometimes feel a bit annoyed by search results in DDE help. But we have to consider today's variety (complexity?) of Domino Designer (classic development, XPages, JavaScript, LotusScript, Java, @Formulas, ...). Fortunately this has been reflected in a help file with a lot more content compared to previous releases. I still think that Notes is one of the products with a rather good help system (even though there is space for improvements).

    If you simply add one more term to your query and search for "@Member formula" you will get much better results.

    I think the same is true for any web search. To my best knowledge the average search query has a length of 2 or 3 words - and is steadily increasing.

    Happy coding - Michael