Online manual continues to be an unsolved problem.

The manual has fallen into disrepair. It’s a disgrace. Parts of it are missing, parts of it remain incomplete, some terms are out of date & don’t match what you see in Blender, and there’s no clear way to report the errors or offer corrections. The built-in link to documentation sometimes leads to a blank result.

Today I found this thread because I hoped to find some help, because searching the word “Hair” in the online manual turns up … nothing.

That’s right, no results for “Hair” in the Blender Reference Manual. That’s absurd. No results for “fur.” 2 results for “particle.”

In actuality, the manual does have a section on hair (it might not be that detailed at the moment, but it does exist).

The problem might not be the manual, but the poor performance of the search function.

Yes, just love the 2.4x gui images also.:eek:

The manual however is being worked on and updated, but it’s currently a very slow process and could easily use a few more committers.

It’s better than it used to at least (like the old wiki manual which was swiss cheese in comparison, that being in terms of coverage).

There is plenty documentation on youtube and other sources. 99.9% don’t care about blender foundations documentation.

I agree there is lots of information all over the place. The point of a manual though is to have the core important information about handling the application and what for example various settings mean and have this in one organised place. Its dreadfully thin in some places and, occasionally , it’s simply wrong. I’m happy to go googling for ways to achieve various effects but for core information the manual should really be the thing.

Edit: That sounded more negative than I meant it to. I do agree that the current manual has seen an improvement.

If the manual is bad, it’s because we aren’t contributing to it. Errors can (and should) be reported to the bug tracker. More involved edits can be submitted as patches. Or, even better, we can actually become involved with the documentation project as regular contributors. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else… but make no mistake. The fault here lies with us.

I don’t use the manual a great deal, but when I was starting out a couple of years back I used to get very annoyed by the old wiki pages, since searching google would almost always give me tons of outdated info from Blender 2.4. The current manual at least seems better than the wiki.

Anyway, regarding getting up to date information in the manual. A suggestion system similar to the one used by Google Docs that lets users with a Blender id edit the manual, but the edits are shown as suggestions and then verified and added by a moderator. If you then put author credits at the bottom of the page, or in a credits page of the manual somewhere and also gave users points based on the number of accepted edits they made it might encourage the community to help out. Of course, this kind of thing is much easier said than done :slight_smile:

Quoting this again, because I found that the owner of the documentation project is inviting people to replace the old 2.4x images with shiny new 2.7x images (with the current interface). Just submit the images to the thread.

I agree with that part, but the ‘fault lies with us’ is totally, 100% wrong. The fault is not with us.

I would happily contribute ( there are many much much more qualified than me though) but I’ve never seen anything encouraging people to get involved or explaining how to do so.

Direct Link

Usually when you think of it though you will be in the actual wiki. It’s not as prominent there I think? Having said that I’ll put my money were my mouth is and follow those links and see if I can be of some use.

Download and build and edit and patch and …
I’ve contributed (a very little) to Wikipedia before. That seemed a much much simpler process.
You don’t find you need a developer account to contribute to Bwiki, for example, until you check out the install/ build part of the guide.And why does it have to involve building the wiki on your local machine? I’m not trying to be negative just my initial reaction.

i felt the same when I informed myself about how to contribute. feels to me like they didnt make changing as easy as possible. having never worked with git and stuff before, it seemed extra tedious for me to do all that just for small edits.

We’re the ones who aren’t updating the manual, but it’s not our fault? Please explain.

You don’t have to work with git (although, it’s really not that difficult). As I mentioned in my earlier post, small edits and corrections can be sent in through the bug tracker. Ideally, it could be in the form of a patch, but it doesn’t have to be. You could also write something like “the third paragraph of this page should be changed to this…” and include the text you want to change. The same goes for updating images.

I now have a developer account. :eek:

I’d recommend any user who is somewhat advanced (especially those who work with scripts and plug-ins) to have a passing familiarity with Git and other version control systems. Highly useful in a variety of areas.

As for documentation not being updated, well… its a fact of life in software development. Virtually nobody in a technical field wants to take that on instead of writing code, or building models, or any of the other funcool things to do (moreso in open source projects where contributors pick and choose what they work on). Managers don’t want to siphon off resources to do that either; in a more organized environment such things get delegated downwards, sometimes even to secretaries who have zero technical knowledge. More often though the budget (not necessarily dollars, but hours) is run-out on technical items before it gets to that point.

That, I can do. Thanks!

It’s not at all reasonable to expect users to contribute to the manual when the manual is locked up inside a GIT system. We are blender users, not GIT users or programmers.

It’s not at all unreasonable to expect users to contribute to the manual when the manual is locked up inside a GIT system. It’s the manual, not the wiki, the current update manual team are working very hard to improve things that has been lacking for a long time.
Imagine they do the hard work & a user comes along & changes the wording to suit themselves? Not so much the manual, but in the wiki this was a huge issue with valuable developer & volunteer time wasted chasing misinformation & invalid pages & bad links & misuse.
Git for the manual takes out much of this work as the manual team can view & approve changes to the “Official Manual” before they happen & have time to discuss the changes.
Keep in mind this is a large project & takes time & manpower.
thanks. Feel free to contribute. Git is not a difficult system to learn.