In response to David's request for feedback, here's a summary of what I
think our team (four developers) needs from the documentation.
First, we've all been using IDEA for at least six months each, and a couple
of us are over a year now. So we are not beginners, and we've already been
quick-started. ;) As such, we're looking for reference information.
The biggest thing that we would like is a very comprehensive list of all
the features and functionality of IDEA. I know this may seem a daunting
task, given all the things IDEA does, but it seems to be key to moving on
to other types of documentation. If we at least have a list to scan
through, we can identify features we're unfamiliar with and poke around or
ask questions on the forums to learn them.
Then we'd like a reference guide that describes each of the features in
detail. What is the intent of the feature? How was it meant to be used?
What exactly does it do? How is it invoked? How is it controlled? How is
it configured? This should be detailed, but to the point. Leave marketing
stuff out of the reference doc. We don't need to be convinced why we
should use a feature, just tell us how it works.
I suspect there is a pretty substantial overlap between this type of
reference guide and what would be found in good on-line help. If the
on-line help were to be expanded and improved, and well-indexed, then
providing a way to print out the on-line help with the index might
satisfy the need for a reference guide.
Does that help?
Paul Hodgetts -- President, Principal Consultant
Agile Logic -- www.agilelogic.com
Consulting, Mentoring, Development, Outsourcing, Training
Java, J2EE, C++ -- Agile Processes, XP, Rapid Development