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New developer manual published

by Ivan Osmak
We have published new developer manual and we are not happy with it. But, that’s the good news.

Namely, we weren’t able to explain everything we wanted, but we also didn’t want to make you wait six months until we are “happy”, so we decided we will release the new manual at the point when it becomes better and more useful than the old manual. And we believe today is the day!

Before I go into details about the manual, let me just explain why is it good news that we are not happy with the new manual. Knowing that there is so much more to be explained and that the time is of essence, we have decided that for the foreseeable future we will release at least four new topics every Friday – both in web version and the offline version. In the strange world of technical writing, topic is a page actually – in case you were wondering. Given this dynamic we will also be able to include new topics based on your feedback and specific demands.

Now - the new manual.

The new online and offline version of manual can be accessed from this page:

http://www.sitefinity.com/support/documentation.aspx

What has changed?

The whole structure of the developer’s manual has been changed. From the previous 20-something top level sections, we’ve gone down to 8 task orientated sections. We’ve reorganized quite a lot of material and we believe that with the new structure it will be much easier to find particular information.

In addition to this, we have removed the obsolete and incomplete topics.

What was the focus of this release?

The two main areas we wanted to improve were general understanding of Sitefinity and Sitefinity API. We’ve put a lot of effort in giving high level overviews of Sitefinity architecture and its building parts. Also, the general guidelines for implementations were given much more space, as opposed to some previous versions where we were answering mostly the question “how?” and completely omitted the “why?”.

The second area in which we have put a lot of effort is Sitefinity API. We have provided API walkthroughs with dozens of examples for pages and modules. There are still few APIs that we have not managed to cover, but we’ve done the major ones and we will cover them all in following weeks.

The official announcement you can find here with the more detailed information.

What will the future bring?

The keyword is: examples. We are committed to providing more and more examples, be they simple examples of API methods or full blown examples of module or service implementations. In addition to this we are committed to comment our code in the time to come and therefore to round up the manual with full and complete API reference section – in the mean time we will have API Walkthroughs.

The final word

Apart from the fact that the manual is not finished (and probably will never be finished) we hope you will find it useful and enjoyable, as much as manual can be enjoyable. I will be posting the updates on the new topics every Friday, so stop by and see what we have done. If you’d like to see something in the manual and we are missing it leave a comment here or on the forums and we’ll do our best to include it.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

2 comments

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  1. Adam Jul 04, 2008
    Thank you thank you thank you! So much better! If I can make one suggestion for now, can you put the tree on the left hand side in an Ifram or frame so that you can scroll the content without the tree disapearing? i.e. keep the tree always on the screen. Thanks again!
  2. Ivan Jul 04, 2008
    Hi Adam, thanks for the kind words (can you hear the loud sigh of relief?) As for the IFRAME suggestion, we don't really have direct control over it, because this is a new Telerik help application (developed by other teams), but I know for certain that such suggestions have been already made in regards to other products and their help - so as far as I know they are contemplating the solution. I'll try to get some more info on the status of this and get back to you. Thanks...

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