[scribus] Quicktorials

Robert Martinez mail at mray.de
Wed Mar 3 22:21:45 CET 2010

Gregory Pittman wrote:
> On 03/03/2010 05:06 AM, a.l.e wrote:
>> hi robert,
>>> My work on the video tutorial system that can integrate into
>>> application has advaced recently (http://quicktorials.org), and  I'm
>>> searching for a first application to  support it.
>>> the idea is to place links in the application like this:
>>> http://quicktorials.org/id/net.scribus=en=1.3.5=s45678=frame.image.place 
>>> More details are described in the "Help" section of the page, but i
>>> would love to get feedback or questions to answer.
>> would it be an option to enroll as gsoc-pupil and implement your 
>> video help system for scribus in that context?
>> and it's a pity, that you can't attend the next LGM. i would have 
>> loved a talk about your project!
> I have reservations about the utility of this.
> First of all, the overhead with this is significant (lets compare text 
> or text + graphics to audio or audio + video), so that one would 
> perhaps want to limit the topics to things which are not intuitive or 
> things which cannot be easily discovered on ones own. How much of the 
> content of this demo is not pretty obvious either intentionally with 
> experimentation or by accident?
> Secondly, this suffers from being what I think of as a strictly linear 
> mode of learning. You cannot browse or scan the content to see what is 
> in there, you have to play it back, with the video taking its own good 
> time to perhaps not tell you anything that you don't already know. 
> Even if you basically knew the content except for one little piece of 
> info, you have to play the whole thing up to that moment to get the 
> info you need. If we might imagine some more sophisticated 
> construction, where the content is collated and indexed, you begin to 
> talk about a project that becomes as big as Scribus itself.
> It is difficult to generate something like this for both newbies and 
> experienced users. Typically you must go to the lowest common 
> denominator in its construction. Let's be realistic, Scribus is not a 
> program that was designed to focus on the low end of the DTP user 
> spectrum. Professional users won't use this kind of learning more than 
> once or a fraction of once.
> If there is merit to this kind of concept, it needs to be developed as 
> a separate off-line project, so that the content can show its worth by 
> some kind of statistical method. I also think (personally) that it's a 
> horrible waste of GSoC dollars at this point.
> Greg
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I'm glad to finally get some feedback, and want to say that my current 
goal is not to convince people that quicktorials are working. I'm not 
sure about that either. I'm just searching for people that are curious 
about it and want to help find out if it can be successful.
Of course I do understand that testing concepts is no priority for 
Scribus, still I see potential in the critical questions you raised:

@overhead in creation of quicktorials:
Creating video is more complex than text, that's true. But the idea 
isn't to make things any easier for contributors.
All kinds of tutorials can tell you things you already know, that's not 
unique to quicktorials. The unique thing about them is: they are short 
and just about the component you request information about - trying to 
dodge the very problem in the first place.

@limiting to complex tasks:
Imho good documentation should not focus on complex task only. 
Especially the easy and everyday tasks should be well documented and 
easy to access. Advanced users are more willing to invest time and 
effort in long, text-based, common and harder to understand tutorials of 
any kind. Quicktorials are not thought to replace those.

@linear learning:
This is intentional. Since the idea is not to provide a replacement for 
common tutorials it is about offering relevant video help on the spot, 
right in the middle when you're working on something.

@aiming for newbies and experienced users:
I see benefit for both groups, in fact it was my initial motivation: I 
was disappointed that almost any tutorials are for beginners, but some 
new little details are often buried inside them. You'd never want to 
spend 30minutes just to get those little details, but maybe 2 minutes on 
some task where you don't feel THAT confident?

@separate off-line project:
Unfortunately there is no incentive to work on a base set of 
quicktorials unless they're integrated into the GUI. As you mentioned 
they don't serve too well as stand alone content.

In the end this is all my personal opinion, I can't prove I'm right 
about the thing that crosses my mind - that's why I want to find out :)


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