Thursday, September 3, 2020

Improve the Delphi Documentation

I know it's sometimes popular to reflexively say that Delphi's help sucks. And it's not like Borland and Embarcadero haven't given us some cause, but the documentation really has gotten much better over the years. Of course, there are still issues; New features that aren't well documented (placeholder pages), help topics that are automatically migrated to a new version, but links aren't updated or are broken, etc.

If you've noticed a mistake or have a pet peeve with the help and you're so inclined, there's something you can do about it.

Embarcadero includes feedback links at the bottom of the each of their help and Docwiki pages. They've been around for a long time, but I'm told they aren't used very often. If you choose to let Embarcadero know where things have fallen through the cracks and/or what's important to you, then they will know where to concentrate their efforts. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Help Screen

The Help Feedback link creates an email to the documentation team with the page name in the subject.

The Current Wiki Page link opens the associated Docwiki page for the current help topic.


Just like above, the email link starts an email to the documentation team.

The QP link launches Quality Portal and starts a QP report for the current Docwiki page.

Email is probably best for things like spelling or grammar mistakes or broken links. Anything that's an obvious fix that can be addressed by the technical writers. Filing a QP report should be reserved for deeper technical issues where developers might need to be involved.

Since the documentation is shared, any fixes will show up on the Docwiki right away and will be automatically rolled into future help updates.

Note: Docwiki has an interesting feature that lets you see documentation for a specific Delphi version by naming it in the URL. Leaving it blank takes you to the latest version available. The following links are for the XE2, Berlin and most recent (Sydney as of this post) versions of the same page, respectively.


Stefan Glienke said...

Maybe they could even add a donate button somewhere...

Marvin Colgin said...

Donate? to a commercial enterprise that sells the product that is deficient in help (specifically) for 15 years?

NMAD said...

Yes, why not donate? We all wish them well. Some corporate entities may also want to donate to help ensure long-term stability of their tool chains.

I would also suggest better means of uploading example projects to demonstrate the use of features.

Unknown said...

I want to remind you of the dark days, starting with Delphi 8, when there was no Help system.