MOULagain Plugin Documentation

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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by Mac_Fife » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:37 pm

One of the advantages of using (mis-using?) a wiki for documentation like this is that's it's comparatively easy to add cross reference links to other sources of information.

We recently added the "cite" extension to our wiki, which can help in this area.
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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:28 pm

It looks like there are some useful snippets of information appearing on the MOUL forums, mainly in the from of Chogon's responses to queries on installation problems, so it looks there's something that we could start on, but it probably needs an assist from someone who's actually using 3ds Max 7, and knows what those exchanges on the forums actually mean!

The other thing that's apparent is that the plugin is specifically for build 1.871 and for 3ds Max 7 (although it seems to work with 3ds Max 8 too, but not more recent versions). This maybe sets out a question on how we structure the documentation to account for possible later revisions of the tool: Do you have a set of pages, like "Installation", "Getting Started", etc., that have sub-headings for each new version or some other structure?

Once sources are provided, how keen are we to publish documentation for derivative plugins? For example, a Blender plugin will be a lot more accessible for most people, so that will be popular. Some other modelling tools have been mentioned, but they seem to be outliers that may not warrant much effort.
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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by JWPlatt » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:29 pm

The GoW wiki is building from the MOUL posts too. We could mirror that, cite their work and add more to it. It would be a welcome relief to have the text here because I can't stand their funky red and black style. When Cyan begins to release documentation, we can add it directly, then format and structure it. It would be good to do it in a way that makes the documentation exportable to other formats usable in things like an IDE or desktop help - HTML, CHM, DOC, etc. The structure I would like to see is one that goes by major version, then the topics, subheadings, etc. It's just too much to load a topic with an infinite future of versions inside where a lot of it quickly become stale and irrelevant.

Chogon's notes say although the plugin is version-specific, it may work on other builds. We may need to maintain a compatibility chart. Plasma documentation will encounter the same issue. We're going to have to depend on folks using a rational major-minor build release schedule that considers the effort and time involved in version documentation.

Blender documentation would appear to be a definite. Although I find it a little humorous that those who shunned 3ds max because of the expense and preference for Blender are among the first to release installation info using 3ds max. So I suspect that when it comes to Uru and Cyan support of 3ds max, more people than you might expect will be willing to make 3ds max a primary tool - at least until the plugin source is released and rewritten for Blender and other tools. I think we need to concentrate on 3ds max and Blender. But anyone can code and document things not in the mainstream and much of it ought to be similar enough to hook in with existing docs.

I have found in the past integrated documentation systems which then export to things like wiki, PDF, CHM, DOC, or whatever. Now I forget where I found them and what they were. Does anyone have a suggestion so that documentation can be written, structured and formatted once for export to whatever we choose, including the wiki?
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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by semplerfi » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:40 pm

JWPlatt wrote:It would be a welcome relief to have the text here because I can't stand their funky red and black style.
GoW's wiki has skins.
http://www.guildofwriters.com/wiki/Special:Preferences

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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:27 pm

semplerfi wrote:GoW's wiki has skins.
http://www.guildofwriters.com/wiki/Special:Preferences
Indeed, as do most wikimedia sites. But you can only change the skin (or anything in the Preferences) if you're a logged in user of the GoW wiki, so the casual visitor who doesn't want to sign up is stuck with the default.
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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by realXCV » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:38 am


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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by Dot » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:48 am

I still think it is a good idea to have the material in more than one place. I've just tried to access the GoW site, and once again not been able to view it. This happens pretty frequently.

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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by Mac_Fife » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:16 am

The "useskin" option in realXCV's post should work (I'm currently getting "access denied" on the GoW site), but only if you're following a URL modified in that way. As soon as you follow a link in the wiki you're back to the default :( . But we're not here to criticise the GoW's site styling.

Transcribing Chogon's posts is one thing, but as I said previously, having the whole thing make sense needs the input of someone who has actually gone through the process, and I certainly can't fill those shoes. I noted last night that Robert the Rebuilder seemed to have been the main contributor to the GoW work on this, and I was actually suprised to see that he's not actually a member here.
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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by semplerfi » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:45 pm

Dot wrote:I've just tried to access the GoW site, and once again not been able to view it.
Try refreshing (F5) a few times. It is a known issue.

Sorry but with the limited discription of your problem this is the only help I can offer.

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Re: MOULagain Plugin Documentation

Post by JWPlatt » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:18 pm

Me too. I usually get success with one refresh. And I also experience the wiki logon drawback Mac_Fife mentions. It would be nice if style were available in a cookie. But I'd appreciate it with all these Q&As if we could also get to the other things I mentioned, such as structure, format, and available software for integrated use of a single document format that is exportable to all the others (wiki, DOC, PDF, CHM, etc) as either an offline reference or for use in an IDE like Visual Studio. I did some searching yesterday, but didn't come up with much. I know I've seen something for this before, but can't remember what it was.
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