IDEA help in PDF format?

Is it available? I find the existing help slightly awkward to use, and I'm starting to realise that I need to read it cover to cover to find out all the stuff I'm missing out on. Since I waste an hour a day on trains, it would be great to be able to print it out and read it there.

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+10!

Franklin.

Colin Fleming wrote:

Is it available? I find the existing help slightly awkward to use, and I'm starting to realise that I need to read it cover to cover to find out all the stuff I'm missing out on. Since I waste an hour a day on trains, it would be great to be able to print it out and read it there.

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While I do read the enclosed help cover-to-cover on each full release, don't imagine that it'll tell you everything you're missing out on. There are some killer features that simply never got documented...

(+1 on PDF format documentation)

--Dave Griffith

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I realise this, and the help is pretty out of date WRT the EAP, for example. I guess we need some sort of tips wiki. I'm finding that access to this sort of information is quite a limitation to advancing from using IDEA as a glorified Notepad to the best thing ever. I've been using it a couple of months and I'm starting to figure out how to use refactorings and inspections much more, but I know there's a lot of great features that I just don't know exist, or don't know how to use properly.

But PDF would be a good start!

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I asked several times for a single help document, which is ready for printing (I hate to read long documentation on screen) since more than a year.

The request was never acknowledged, so I have almost no hope that it will be done.

Still, to me it should be self understanding for any commercial product I buy, that it includes a documentation / manual that I can print out without efforts.

It is strange that an increasing number of software vendors feel that such a service is not necessary.

What a pity, since reading on screen means to spend more time in front of the box, even with a task, which could be accomplished somewhere else (i.e. in a train, at home, on a comfortable chair).

So, JetBrains, please prove me wrong !

Kind regards

Thomas

Thomas Gülden
Munich, Germany

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Still, to me it should be self understanding for any commercial product I buy, that it includes a documentation / manual that I can print out without efforts.


Thomas, do you mean, you want to get a (pdf) documentation rather than a
embedded html help? Why I'm asking? Because I hate the effort to edit
SmartCVS' html help and think about providing a pdf-document instead.

Tom

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Hi Thomas,

I think online help, which provides context sensitive assistance (commonly via F1) is a must.

Printable documentation could be provided in various ways, preferable a PDF.

The main issue with HTML-based documentation is, that line and word wrapping is not appropriate, that screenshot do not get printed entirely, and that you may have to print every single topic one by one.

Whether printable documentation should be available or not, also depends on the required size of the manual, which also depends on the complexity of the software.

For a small application the necessity of a printable documentation seems less than for a system such as IntelliJ.

Often, the manual isn't a one-to-one copy of the online help. Instead, it is a document, which puts features in context, gives tips on its usages, and explains recommended work flows.

The problem is that IntelliJs help is not formatted, so that it can be printed, and that the help browser even does not provide printing functionality.

As for SmartCVS, I think the provided tutorial is fine, although not up to date, with respect to new features. Workflows in special areas, such as how to find / propagate bugfixes from a branch to the main trunk (i.e. using CVS transactions) could be added in my opinion.

At least, for SmartCVS there is something, whereas
IntelliJ being far more complex, provides nothing.

To make the matters worse, there is even no single book out dealing with IntelliJ, leaving the arena of explaining Java development completely to the Eclipse camp. I think the success and popularity of Eclipse is not only accelerated by the fact that it is free, but also by the myriad of books now explaining every facet of it.

I don't know of any new book using JBuilder (justified), NetBeans (probably not justified) or IntelliJ (a pity !) to explain methodologies in SW-development.

Me, for example, I am quite familiar with client-side swing, but almost fresh on Web Development. So, to have a starter with a book utilizing IntelliJ for explaining basics like project startup, deployment, debugging, refactoring of Web apps would be a tremendous help, but instead, I have to rely on books utilizing Eclipse or some semi-mature Eclipse plug-ins, all this are environments, which I really do not want to use.

So with all the coverage in press and book market Eclipse does get even more in the focus than it deserves. And IntelliJ is the niche for the experts, the insider tip, for the few people, who are still willing to pay for productivity gains.

Fortunately, IntelliJ is - as opposed to Eclipse - so intuitive that our team comes along quite well without additional documentation. Speaking of the team ... non of us is a professional developer. All of them are auto-didact SW-developers, which have to keep a large soil information system running by doing many of the domain specific stuff ourselves - the things the contractors could never comprehend. In our context intuitivity, documentation, productivity is very important, thus the long remark about the topic.

Kind regards

Thomas

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� wrote:

>To make the matters worse, there is even no single book out dealing with IntelliJ,
>


For interactive products like IDEA, books are not the answers,
screencast/video tutorials are, complemented by some well
designed/written but exhaustive documentation.


What IDEA needs is a free and smarlty designed set of video tutorials,
that would cover what a real person would teach you by showing/doing,
during the first 2..4 hours, just before telling you "the rest, you'll
find in the doc, by yourself".

I've been singing that song for a few years, but I'm not loosing hope.
Rob seems to have started something good in that direction. All we need
is JetBrains to put more resources on that initiative.


Alain

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Alain,

I tend to disagree a little. Whereas the videos are a valuable add-on for some people, still a computer is required of utilizing them. In my first reply, I stated that for certain tasks, I want to have the opportunity of not doing the things on a computer, not in the office, may be even out in the nature, just in a different environment. One of the tasks is reading.

Also it is much better to have a book on the desk in front of you, reading it, and doing some explained stuff on screen. With doing everything online, on screen means that you always have to switch between book/manual and the application, which can be uncomfortable.

I think the point is that there are many types of users/people which prefer different ways of learning. Software vendors should acknowledge this, if possible.

Regards

Thomas

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Weekly articles/how-to's would be useful too.

Franklin.

� wrote:

Hi Thomas,

I think online help, which provides context sensitive assistance (commonly via F1) is a must.

Printable documentation could be provided in various ways, preferable a PDF.

The main issue with HTML-based documentation is, that line and word wrapping is not appropriate, that screenshot do not get printed entirely, and that you may have to print every single topic one by one.

Whether printable documentation should be available or not, also depends on the required size of the manual, which also depends on the complexity of the software.

For a small application the necessity of a printable documentation seems less than for a system such as IntelliJ.

Often, the manual isn't a one-to-one copy of the online help. Instead, it is a document, which puts features in context, gives tips on its usages, and explains recommended work flows.

The problem is that IntelliJs help is not formatted, so that it can be printed, and that the help browser even does not provide printing functionality.

As for SmartCVS, I think the provided tutorial is fine, although not up to date, with respect to new features. Workflows in special areas, such as how to find / propagate bugfixes from a branch to the main trunk (i.e. using CVS transactions) could be added in my opinion.

At least, for SmartCVS there is something, whereas
IntelliJ being far more complex, provides nothing.

To make the matters worse, there is even no single book out dealing with IntelliJ, leaving the arena of explaining Java development completely to the Eclipse camp. I think the success and popularity of Eclipse is not only accelerated by the fact that it is free, but also by the myriad of books now explaining every facet of it.

I don't know of any new book using JBuilder (justified), NetBeans (probably not justified) or IntelliJ (a pity !) to explain methodologies in SW-development.

Me, for example, I am quite familiar with client-side swing, but almost fresh on Web Development. So, to have a starter with a book utilizing IntelliJ for explaining basics like project startup, deployment, debugging, refactoring of Web apps would be a tremendous help, but instead, I have to rely on books utilizing Eclipse or some semi-mature Eclipse plug-ins, all this are environments, which I really do not want to use.

So with all the coverage in press and book market Eclipse does get even more in the focus than it deserves. And IntelliJ is the niche for the experts, the insider tip, for the few people, who are still willing to pay for productivity gains.

Fortunately, IntelliJ is - as opposed to Eclipse - so intuitive that our team comes along quite well without additional documentation. Speaking of the team ... non of us is a professional developer. All of them are auto-didact SW-developers, which have to keep a large soil information system running by doing many of the domain specific stuff ourselves - the things the contractors could never comprehend. In our context intuitivity, documentation, productivity is very important, thus the long remark about the topic.

Kind regards

Thomas

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On Wed, 11 May 2005 17:52:04 +0200, Thomas Singer (MoTJ) wrote:

Thomas, do you mean, you want to get a (pdf) documentation rather than a
embedded html help? Why I'm asking? Because I hate the effort to edit
SmartCVS' html help and think about providing a pdf-document instead.


Isn't that the point of single-sourcing documentation in say DocBook XML
and generate the PDF and Html help from the common source?

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Isn't that the point of single-sourcing documentation in say DocBook XML
and generate the PDF and Html help from the common source?


Generally, yes. But I did not see any decent looking pdf-output from
DocBook. Hence we decided to create our own (simplified) DocBook-like XML
syntax and created our own XSLTs to create latex-output, which easily can be
converted to good-looking pdf. Unfortunately I did not have success with
creating multiple (html-) output file using ANT's embedded XSLT-task...

Tom

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Generally, yes. But I did not see any decent looking
pdf-output from
DocBook.


http://www.pragmaticprogrammer.com/titles/ruby/index.html

AFAIK, Pragmatic Programmers titles are produced from a DocBook source, post-processed by special (PP's proprietary, not open source, not generally available) tools. They mention this somewhere on the book preface. Too bad I don't have it with me right now to quote directly from it.

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