I am writing to give some hopefully helpful, but critical observations of Kendo's documentation. I have heard these thoughts from many others, so I know I am not alone in my perceptions.
Kendo suffers from a great lack in detailed and easy-to-follow documentation. Articles are not ordered well. Certain bits of information about a topic are scattered over multiple pages. Many (sometimes most) answers to questions about widgets are found in the forums or on unaffiliated websites.
I would equate Kendo's documentation to being the dictionary for Kendo, like how you have an English language dictionary where you go to find certain words and what they mean, but you get very little context about that word.
Here are some specific examples, to help shed light on the frustrations:
- Another example is that I wanted to bind a ListView to local data, then be able to change the DataSource afterward to pull additional items via Ajax. Once again, little to no documentation on how to change the DataSource after the widget is initiated, but we were finally able to find a Forum post where someone received an example of how to do this. But since there was, of course, no documentation or detailed explanation of this example, and it takes time (that we didn't have) to get an answer about how to slightly change the example for our purposes, we ended up spending hours of trial and error to figure out why certain things didn't work at all or didn't work quite right or how to make them work. We found out the Pager broke after changing the DataSource, and we were supposed to refresh the Pager. Another small thing that was not in the documentation.
I could name other similar experiences, but these at least illustrate the norm, from our 6 month experience with Kendo.
I have used plugins such as jQuery and jQueryUI for 5+ years now, and I found myself greatly dissatisfied with Kendo's documentation, comparatively. For instance, in the jQuery documentation for the .on() function (http://api.jquery.com/on/), you will find such incredibly detailed information and lots of examples. After reading the article, I was immediately able to get my head wrapped around what it does, what parameters it takes, what it does with events, and I could view and play with the examples to see what happened. A similar article on Kendo would have the parameters described on one page, an FAQ article on another page with a few use-case scenarios or some related issues, and yet another page with a How-To, that is only helpful in limited circumstances.
It just should not be this difficult to find information about each widget and how it works. Each widget's documentation page should be full of in-depth descriptions of each property, event, and method and full of examples, use-cases, and potential problems or things to be aware of.
Also, there should be the same amount of in-depth description of the different Wrappers. I know for the MVC Wrappers, I have the same kind of trouble trying to find examples or how to use the different widgets or how to hook them up with different kinds of DataSources and such.
The Kendo Documentation is just an incredible form of frustration and keeps me from being excited about the product. Even though the widgets work quite well, I'm not as excited as I should be about them because of the time and frustration it takes trying to get the dang things to work! The Documentation needs to be less dictionary and more Wikipedia. By all means, please overload the Documentation with data, descriptions, use-cases, examples, related issues, things to keep in mind, potential problems, ways people use the Widgets, how to interact with other Widgets, DataSources, etc...more more more!
Thanks for your time and attention, and I hope this helps us all move onward and upward with Kendo!