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dkightley
Posts: 2060
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:09 pm

Steps towards improved documentation

Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:34 pm

I've lost count of the number of times there have been gripes, comments (some quite nasty) and requests for improvements in the documentation for S3D.....and there has been very little done in any of the releases to do anything about it.

We all know that S3D is a very complex piece of software that is used by many folk of varying levels of technical knowledge, not only in the software but also in the whole technology of 3D printing. Which is one of the reasons for Simplify3D setting up this forum.....for the more technical users to help the less technical users.

But as time has gone by, the landscape has changed somewhat. More and more people with little or no knowledge of 3D printing are getting involved in the process....and are becoming more and more demanding on the suppliers....more functionality, more cloning of functionality from other software, more...of everything! And they're also demanding they be given the answer to any question they have...and NOW!

Being from a software support and development background, I know the REAL priorities. 1) Build the software 2) Test the software 3) Document the software. And 1) takes priority over 2), and 2) takes priority over 3). Run out of time, and the lower priority gets dropped until you're forced to do something about it...and then what gets done is just enough to quieten those shouting the loudest.

So...to my feature request: Please do something to improve the quantity and quality of the documentation for S3D. Having said that, having touched on the subject above, I am aware its a mammoth task to produce both technical and non-technical documentation....and what has been done so far, tutorials, videos and Q&As...has been just adequate for some, but not right for everyone. I know its not possible to drop all development and produce all singing and all dancing technical and user guides.

What is possible....which is what I am requesting....is to make it possible for the more technical users who offer help to others to be able to contribute towards producing technical and non-technical information for others to reference...….in the form of a wiki. This has been suggested a number of times before ( see: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4236&p=45419&hilit=wiki#p45419 ) and nothing has come of it.

My suggestion is for Simplify3D to add a wiki to the support pages, and to link the existing support pages to it.....essentially starting the wiki off, and then opening the wiki up to some of the willing and more technical users to add information.

I'd be interested in thoughts from others...…...
Doug Kightley
Volunteer at the National Tramway Museum http://www.tramway.co.uk
Railway modeller and webmaster at http://www.talkingtgauge.net

wirlybird
Posts: 1221
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:32 pm

Re: Steps towards improved documentation

Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:45 am

Years back when I got my first printer I was told S3D was the one to go with and especially considering the printer I got it would be the best solution. The people suggesting it were right.
HOWEVER, the one big thing I was told by everyone in that particular printer forum was documentation was basically non-existent. And what little there was, was pretty worthless.

It still hold true today, years later.

Documentation for a new release is really not much more than an S3d group hug, high fives and back slapping - "look at us - we released an update".

You guys don't seem to take seriously or understand that there is some serious competition in slicers now and most all are free.

Something has to change or more and more users will look elswhere.

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