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Need For Re-Documentation

 
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dave93



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 34
Location: McLean, VA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Martin,

Kind of funny to see that you've appended a reply you gave earlier to
me (in your original message 4 on April 10). I suppose there's nothing
wrong with repetition. Somehow, though, I had this weird thought that
I'd been transported into a Kafkaesque landscape. You've taken the
liberty of repeating your reply but left out what I wrote in response
to that reply (in my message 5 on April 10). Does this erasure qualify
me as a "non-person"? Smile

Instead you write:

Quote:
That sounds like an excellent idea, I'll have a look into it. In the
meantime, I will also expand the manual a bit to make it more
complete.

Such was your most recent response on the subject of re-documentation,
in response to Steven Sawczyn's suggestion that it be handled in a
WIKI format. I take it that this will be close to your last word on
the subject. Or am I wrong? I look forward to seeing my last posting
together with your response to it which you've not yet given.

I have a bit of a feeling that this time -- like other times when the
need for professional documentation arose in this forum -- the request
has again been stonewalled. I hope that I'm wrong.


Dave


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dave93



Joined: 05 Mar 2007
Posts: 34
Location: McLean, VA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Martin,

"At the end of the day," as you say, I too expect that you're right.
To say the least, there hasn't been an outpouring in this forum of new-
manual requests. If users, or that portion of them who look at this
forum, aren't interested then probably very few others would be as well.

All well and good to have some "experts" who are willing to contribute
to an Amadeus WIKI; better than nothing. (But, I haven't seen many
volunteers even for this. In all likelihood, this too will amount to
nothing.)

An interesting point has been raised about whether those who'd
potentially like a re-done manual really are asking for more clearly
and comprehensively written instructions about operating Amadeus, per
se? Rather, though they may not realize it themselves, aren't they
really in need of sound-editing advice or a general primer on digital
audio issues as a whole? It'd be foolish, I think, for anyone to
pretend to have an answer. (Your own experience with user requests is
by no account a representative sample of your user base as a whole.)
Also, keep in mind that, in practice, well written manuals inevitably
cross these boundaries. Even the current "kitchen" version of the
Amadeus manual crosses this line occasionally. Anyway, as things now
stand, the whole thing is academic.

Martin, one of your comments particularly caught my eye:

Quote:
The "tricking" part of my sentence was referring to the commonly seen
practice of providing an "opt-out" option for marketing emails that is
purposedly hidden in a place where it can easily be overlooked, so
that more customers "consent" to being contacted.

Yes, this is annoying. But, what does it have to do with sending an
email straightforwardly asking users for their opinion? There is not
really an issue of "opt in" or "opt out" here. You can, of course,
make it seem like this. If one is super-sensitive to receiving
unsolicited email, as you seem to be, then anything constitutes an
intrusion. Nevertheless, software makers constantly send announcements
and reminders to their own users apparently without endangering their
users' goodwill.

Quote:
It is generally considered as bad practice (I certainly consider it as
such and I know that I am not alone by far) to contact people without
their prior consent.

Martin, a little caution here is warranted. We haven't been talking
about *any* unsolicited email. You'll have to keep this in mind if you
don't want to muddy the water. What has become contentious is whether
it's okay for a software maker who has a *pre-established
relationship* with a user (having sold him software originally,
possibly, also having provided online tech support, and, not the
least, having stepped in [Martin, are you listening?] to offer support
on user forums)? Despite your personal super-sensitivity, scarcely
anyone would be offended when they are contacted by a software maker
with whom they have such a pre-existing relationship.

And so, unless a number of forum members who still want a decent
Amadeus user manual speak out, this latest outbreak will go the way of
all previous ones. (Even then, given that you are against it , not
much seems likely to happen.) Still, I find it hard to understand why
you are not personally embarrassed.


Dave

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Bryan Mumford



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:56 am    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

I, too, am puzzled by Dave's criticism of the documentation. I'm
perfectly content with the documentation and do not find it
embarrassing in the slightest. The program is only $40. I know of no
other software vendor who makes himself so available for personal
contact, answering questions, and providing updates and explanations.
This is unheard of and invaluable. Martin, I encourage you to not
lose any sleep over these complaints.



Quote:
And so, unless a number of forum members who still want a decent
Amadeus user manual speak out, this latest outbreak will go the way
of all previous ones. (Even then, given that you are against it ,
not much seems likely to happen.) Still, I find it hard to
understand why you are not personally embarrassed.


--

Bryan Mumford
http://www.bmumford.com
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dave393



Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject: Need for Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Hello Bryan,

Based on your posting, I'd be curious about the length of your experience and your expertise with Amadeus. You and a few others who frequent this forum and defend the slapdash manual seem to be more on the "expert" than on the relative "novice" side. There's a world of difference here.

Sure, Martin is quite willing to respond to questions.

Quote:
I know of no other software vendor who makes himself so available for personal contact, answering questions, and providing updates and explanations.


There's never been any doubt about that. But why should *any* user have to go through that, "personal contact" or not? Yes, I can see it for specialized issues and narrow technicalities. But, for information about Amadeus's *basic operation*? Sorry, we see things differently. A needed, comprehensive manual has still not been produced.

And why not, is the question. Software makers (both small and large) ought to think enough of their purchasers to want to make one's introduction to and use of their product as comfortable, painless as possible. What's the advantage of couching some of Amadeus's workings in cryptic, short sentences and keeping others a mystery until they are asked about (on this forum)? In short, why make it so difficult? How is such a "missing manual" something to be grateful for?

Dave
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Gerard Bik



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:34 am    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Really interesting discussion here. The viewpoints turn out to be
very different.

Some thoughts from someone who hasn't seen the manual for some time:

I think the Amadeus manual could/should be limited to the basic
operation of Amadeus.
What novice users want is a crash course on audio editing mixed with
basic Amadeus use.
This is an undertaking beyond the $40 scope of Martins efforts.
The wiki might become this in time. But the forum is a great resource too.

Short term solution:
Why not point to exact places where the manual should be clarified or expanded?
Dave pointed some out already.
Maybe others can (preferably in a polite manner) point to more points.
The manual as it is, isn't that bad. A few tweaks based on user
feedback would make it good enough.

And for Martin's record: I wouldn't mind an e-mail announcement. I
get annoyed only when some company pretends we already have had
contact and it isn't true.

regards
--
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MrEes



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Finger Lakes, NY, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Dave,
If there is such a tremendous unmet need and market for a new Amadeus
manual, why don't you just write–or commission the writing of–one and
sell it yourself? It would certainly be a more productive use of your
time than the incessant haranguing of late.

m.
--
Michael Rees
Composer &c. <http://soundsgrate.net>

I have to hate you, she said.
You know too much about me to be
trusted.


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dave393



Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Hello Girard,

You too raise an interesting issue:

Quote:
Short term solution:
Why not point to exact places where the manual should be clarified or expanded? Dave pointed some out already. Maybe others can (preferably in a polite manner) point to more points. The manual as it is, isn't that bad. A few tweaks based on user feedback would make it good enough.


Yes, I think that, in some cases, this would work: user editorial suggestions for matters that should be covered or more fully explained in the manual. I'd love to see a new thread devoted to just such issues. A separate listing for this should be set up in the forum index. Put such feedback all in one place.

But, to quote our dearly beloved Donald Rumesfeld:

Quote:
As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns; the ones we don't know we don't know.Smile





In short, the average Amadeus user (not necesarily the most expert) will, at times, come up against his own ignorance of what is to be known about Amadeus. Again, here arises the need for *professional* work on a revised manual.

Dave
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Gerard Bik



Joined: 10 Nov 2006
Posts: 353

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Dave
The unknown unknowns are best left untouched until they become
urgent. The amount of effort even a professional manual writer would
need, to accomplish the systematic description of these unknowns
would be astronomical.
Personally I favour a practical approach: just start filling in the wiki.

Someone desperate for clues might start with the forum archives,
making statistical analyses of the recurring questions. The real
world user questions have already been asked there.

good luck

--
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Bryan Mumford



Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject: Need For Re-Documentation Reply with quote

Quote:
In short, the average Amadeus user (not necesarily the most expert)
will, at times, come up against his own ignorance of what is to be
known about Amadeus. Again, here arises the need for *professional*
work on a revised manual.

I just don't see that it is your (or our) place to ask Martin to hire
a professional to write a new manual. Martin has his own business and
interests, about which we know very little.

I produce and sell a device for timing clocks and watches. My manual
tells people how to use the device, not how to repair watches. I
imagine the same for Amadeus, perhaps for selfish reasons. Is it
Martin's job to teach recording, or to show how his program works? It
seems to me that can be his choice and, if his time, interests, or
budget do not permit him to write a book on how to record, we should
be happy that he is able to produce the Amadeus he does. People often
tell me what I "should" do to improve or increase my business. But
such advice has no meaning because they have no idea what is involved
with my business or my time. I'm sure you feel that you've gotten $40
worth of value from Amadeus Pro, and (I'm not trying to be offensive)
it's not really your business to harp on Martin about some
shortcoming you perceive. He has a product, certain talents, and a
certain amount of time he is able or willing to devote to Amadeus. He
offers it to me for a modest cost and I'm happy to buy it. But I
would never nag him about taking it in a direction he chooses not to
go. That's his business.

If you perceive a need for a manual on basic computer recording
principles, you really ought to consider writing it yourself and
offering it for sale. If you do a good job, it wouldn't be
unreasonable for Martin and others to offer it for sale on their web
sites. Heck, for $5 or $10 I'd probably buy a copy. I've been using
Macintoshes since 1984 and I just paid $12 for a PDF file about basic
principles of Leopard, not written by Apple. It never hurts to have
an overview and another perspective.

Anyway, back to my own perspective, I get compliments on the manual
I've written for my own product, but occasionally someone wants a
more detailed step-by-step instructions about timing clocks. I don't
have anywhere near the time to write such a manual, and even if I
did, when it was done, some people would complain that it was too
slow and plodding. It's impossible to write a manual that satisfies
everyone. And if Martin does not have the time or inclination to
write the manual you want, not being required to do so is one of the
perks of working for yourself.

If you're willing to write a PDF file on the basic principles and
operations of recording with Amadeus that you feel are lacking, I'm
sure we'd be happy to read and distribute it.

--

Bryan Mumford
http://www.bmumford.com
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dave393



Joined: 11 Nov 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bryan,

You probably know that Apple quit making full manuals for its applications and even its OSs. The outcry from users was scarcely to be believed. You know what happened: Apple didn't budge and thus was O'Reilly's "The Missing Manual" series created. Martin ain't no Apple or O'Reilly for that matter, of course. Smile My first point is that users do squawk, they squawk all the time, they squawk for good reason and bad. Second, a maker of software, probably generally recognized, has an obligation to do more than to turn out the stuff; he's supposed to tell folks how to use it. I don't think we're in disagreement, yet. We might be, though, over whether $40 grants him immunity.

But, on general principle, what's your beef with me or anybody else holding Martin to account for whatever reason they choose within bounds of civility?

Quote:
I just don't see that it is your (or our) place to ask Martin to hire
a professional to write a new manual. Martin has his own business and
interests, about which we know very little.


What's with this "Hands off Martin!" stuff? I, mostly, like him too. But, if you review the exchanges we've had about the need for a better manual, you might see that he's kept shifting his grounds for being against the project. I would have been happy, but not content, if he'd come out in the beginning and said "I'm not interested. Period." Parenthetically, nobody insisted that he hire a professional writer to do the work. Let him do it himself if he wants.

And, of course, red herrings have a way of copulating and reproducing out of the sight of plain folks.

Quote:
Is it Martin's job to teach recording, or to show how his program works? It seems to me that can be his choice and, if his time, interests, or
budget do not permit him to write a book on how to record, we should
be happy that he is able to produce the Amadeus he does.


Let peace return to this darkening plain.


Dave
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