Author Topic: Help System Improvements  (Read 2394 times)

Mario

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Help System Improvements
« on: November 25, 2018, 01:42:04 PM »
I've just updated the IMatch Help System with the latest contents.
This version also includes an improved search function and an update to the curated keyword index. Curated here means that poor Mario is manually assigning keywords to each help page, based on experience and the telemetry data gathered by the help ("what do users search for?").

Note: Since the help is on-line and not blocked for robots, Google/Bing etc. also index it and makes the contents searchable.

ben

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 07:49:08 PM »
Quote
Curated here means that poor Mario is manually assigning keywords to each help page
Thanks Mario, I appreciate your constant improvements a lot

thrinn

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 08:15:28 PM »
+1
Thorsten
Win 10 / 64, IMatch 2018, IMA

Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 08:42:31 PM »
Providing a good documentation is hard. And time-consuming. And it's never perfect (for all users) or complete.

But it is worth the effort, because it makes it easier for users to do what they need/want to do.
And to learn what they can do  ;)

Aubrey

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 08:43:06 PM »
Sounds good...
Not surprised that manually updating is sometimes required.

Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2018, 10:37:53 PM »
Sounds good...
Not surprised that manually updating is sometimes required.

I look at what users are searching for, think about it, and then add more entries to the manual index.
You would be amazed how people are trying to find things...quite creative sometimes.

BanjoTom

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2018, 01:35:46 AM »
+1  and THANKS!
— Tom, in Lexington, Kentucky, USA

mity!

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2018, 07:33:23 AM »
Thank you Mario for your constant work over all these years!

I am using IMatch for more than ten years and own all versions since then. But I have to confess that I just started two months ago the migration of my images from IMatch 3.6 to IMatch 2018.  :-[

(You may ask why the hell I waited so long...   :-\ Well, I loved the 3.6 version. And my monitor resolution was too small for a workspace with all these panels. But now, with a new monitor, I finally dared the step...)

Well, it is a lot of work. Especially because some elementary conepts have changed. Most of my data was stored in the 3.6 database (categories and properties). I now moved most of this stuff into the images themselves (keywords). And I found lots of quite uncontrolled keywords in my images that derived from my continious geotagging. To get some system (hierarchical keywords) into that mess of countries, states and cities occupied me for the last six weeks.

But (and now I come to the point why I publish this "story" here in this thread): I used your help system in that time nearly daily. I read a lot and I learned a lot. My experience was that I could find quick answers and solutions for my current problems as well as I could study more detailed explanations about concepts and functionality. I was able to automate most of my migration steps and the new workflow for importing and tagging images.

I just wanted to say that I appreciate your work a lot, and that there are users using your help system - which really helps!  :)

sinus

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 09:02:29 AM »
This version also includes an improved search function and an update to the curated keyword index. Curated here means that poor Mario is manually assigning keywords to each help page, based on experience and the telemetry data gathered by the help ("what do users search for?").

Note: Since the help is on-line and not blocked for robots, Google/Bing etc. also index it and makes the contents searchable.

Yep, maybe an index-possibility like InDesign would be nice for you  ;D

Or, simpler, I had once a soft (looong ago), where I could click on a button and after some time I got a text-list with simply EVERY word (I could tell how many letter to avoid "a" and "ah") like this

apple 17,22,33,45,48
banana 9,122
Matterhorn 12,22,33,55,66
...

Helped me a lot.

But not every soft has such possibility, hence (I guess) poor Mario has to go manually through each page and create an index.

Finally, like other users mentioned, your help-system is simply outstanding and cool!

Thanks for it, really!



Best wishes from Switzerland! :-)
Markus

Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 09:19:59 AM »
@sinus

I'm not exactly sure that I understand what you are trying to explain...some sort of indexing?

The help system uses a full-text index (it indexes every word longer than 3 chars in every help page, uses stemming algorithms to deal with variants (cppy/copying, file/files, ...) and other modern technologies.

In addition to this automatic index, I maintain a manually curated index which allows the help system to answer typical queries 'better' than a simple text search would.
For example, when a user searches for the term "open file" this ensures that the first hit is File Management (open files in an external applications). Because this is, most likely, what users want.

There are about 1,500 entries in this manual index currently. And I add new entries occasionally when looking at the search logs (what users actually did search for).

sinus

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 10:10:54 AM »
@sinus

I'm not exactly sure that I understand what you are trying to explain...some sort of indexing?

The help system uses a full-text index (it indexes every word longer than 3 chars in every help page, uses stemming algorithms to deal with variants (cppy/copying, file/files, ...) and other modern technologies.

In addition to this automatic index, I maintain a manually curated index which allows the help system to answer typical queries 'better' than a simple text search would.
For example, when a user searches for the term "open file" this ensures that the first hit is File Management (open files in an external applications). Because this is, most likely, what users want.

There are about 1,500 entries in this manual index currently. And I add new entries occasionally when looking at the search logs (what users actually did search for).

Ah, yes, I talked about a sort of indexing.
But as  you pointed out, you have all sorted out.

And now I understand the word "curated".  ;D
Thanks for explaining!
Best wishes from Switzerland! :-)
Markus

Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 11:26:25 AM »
Very good.
If you search for something and don't find it, let me know via the email link available at the bottom of each help page.
Include information about the search term(s) used and what you did expect to find.

ubacher

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2018, 10:04:46 PM »
Quote
Note: Since the help is on-line and not blocked for robots, Google/Bing etc. also index it and makes the contents searchable.

I tried on google this:
site:www.photools.com/help/imatch/ "thumbnails"

Did not find anything. What's wrong?



Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 07:28:43 AM »
This is not how Google works.
Your site: syntax is wrong (it only takes a domain name). Also, what Google presents as results must not necessarily match what's on the site, but is filtered by your personal Google profile.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 07:31:43 AM by Mario »

lbo

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 09:36:59 AM »
"My Google" never found any IMatch help page so I'm afraid there is something wrong.

Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2018, 10:58:13 AM »
Google Webmaster Tools tells me that the entire site is indexed. I cannot do more.
The help system is fully dynamic and the contents are rendered on-demand (single page application), the robot may not be able to catch anything. That's why there is a built-in search function.

I could probably spend a few days and mirror each help page as a separate document to do SEO and make the Google bot more happy. But I have many other things to do. The built-in search function is quite adequate.

Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 01:39:29 PM »
As a quick fix/improvement (I hope, you'll never know with Google and SEO) I have extended by help build scripts to create a dedicated XML sitemap for all deep links inside the help system. And then added this site map manually in the Google Webmaster tools.

I hope this will make the robots also grab the contents of the help site when they visit the site for the next time.

ubacher

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2018, 03:23:11 PM »
Quote
The built-in search function is quite adequate.
That is contrary to my experience. I may be conditioned by google searches to specify search terms loosely and thus
not able to find things in help.

Just lately I searched for something related to Design&Print and they way I found it eventually (because I was sure it had to exist)
was not straight forward at all.

If I recall correctly I had to open the Design&Print section of help first before my search term found what I looked for.

Mario

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Re: Help System Improvements
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2018, 03:47:28 PM »
This seems to be unusual. The search searches all pages, open or not.
Or did you use the Ctrl+F function on your browser? This searches only the currently open page of course.

Which search term did you use?
Design & Print is especially easy, because there is only one page for the entire topic.