Very nice.. but ways to improve

9 posts, 0 answers
  1. talal
    talal avatar
    21 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2007

    Posted 18 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    I purchased your products last week and i am impressed bug time.

    The functionality and support justified the cost.

    I would like to see your company/products prosper and see more innovation as time goes by.

    Here are some suggestions that i feel need to be addressed to help the customers (and you also);
    - Documentations: You have lots of useful information on your website but the problem is the information are scattered and rarely updated.
       examples: references to the controls; the documentations does not get updated with each release and when they do they seem to have outdated information.
     
       The number of functionality is overwhelming, its a super bonus to be able to change much and customize to a very fine details but they are not highlighted with examples enough. For example; I find myself going over other people's questions and Tekerik's answers and saying wow i did not know i could do that. Then you will have a link somewhere linking to a useful list of information.

    - DNN support: you have to agree that associating your product with DNN got you a good share of clients. I, for example knew about your products from the DNN community.
    Telerik's DNN installation files are everywhere and it is very easy to miss something. The download for the DNN controls contains a FULL DNN site. That is large download! while ass we need are teleriks controls.
    You have lots to offer to the DNN community but the integration with DNN seemed to have stopped with 2 controls. Even the support for the integration which was a good work for Oliver Hine seem to be stalled. Oliver's work has not been updated for years.
    Suggestion; can we start an area on the site for other DNN developers to share (and maybe get rewarded for sharing their modules?).

    Again; please take this as constructive criticizm; I love your products and will see how i can help the community as time goes by.
  2. Stuart Hemming
    Stuart Hemming avatar
    1622 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2004

    Posted 19 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    I think saying that the documentation is rarely updated is more than a little harsh. I know that a lot has gone in to the documentation recently.

    As for a location for examples, well the KnowledgeBase and the Code Library are both good places to start.

    And a final not about the docs; if you do find something wrong, use the feedback link and you can be sure of getting both a response to your query and the thanks of the relvant product teem for doing so.

    --
    Stuart
  3. talal
    talal avatar
    21 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2007

    Posted 19 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    Hello;
    Sorry; I did not mean for my comments to be harsh or insulting.
    I really like your products .. i just think there could be some improvement to the documentations (including samples of use to methods and properties is just an example).

    I will be more specific in teh future.

    Thank you
  4. Stuart Hemming
    Stuart Hemming avatar
    1622 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2004

    Posted 20 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    First off, don't misunderstand, like you I'm just another user.

    You are right that there are improvements that can be made to the docs whether because stuff is out-of-date or because stuff is missing. My point was that if you use the feedback link on the relevant page to let telerik know where you think that there is a problem you are more likely to see an change.

    --
    Stuart
  5. Johan
    Johan avatar
    617 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2007

    Posted 20 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    Documentation is one of the many aspects of software products where one can never be perfect. You can always document more, and finally, even if you do, there will be too much information - hard to find and organize and most importantly, hard to keep up-to-date.

    I'm not going to say that telerik's docs are perfect, but fom my experience with 3rd party vendors, they are (arguably of course) one of the best. Of course, they can always improve.

    Weak spots in the documentation are the client-side and server-side APIs. For example, when I look up for a specific property in the API help, I expect short explanation and hopefully a code snippet, or at least a cross-link to a section in the help where I can find related (to this property or method) information. 90% of the time this is not the case and I end up searching forums, making up clever Google search phrases and using hardcore debugging tricks to find out what is going on.

    For some products this is especially visible. rad Window for example uses a somewhat different client-side approach (compared to other telerik products) and the docs are needed a lot. However, in the current state of the docs you cannot even see if a member of a client-side object is a property or a method,  and code examples are virtually non-existant.

    The end-result is threads like this one, where people try to figure out if a member is a property or a method and how it should be used (this is non-trivial for Javascript/DOM):

    http://www.telerik.com/community/forums/thread/b311D-gktak.aspx

    But then again, this is one of the few examples where help is lacking. Generally, help & examples are quite, quite good.

    Cheers,
    --Joha
  6. Stuart Hemming
    Stuart Hemming avatar
    1622 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2004

    Posted 20 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    Agreed, but whilst one could argue that telerik should have everything up to speed from day one, that's just not realistic.

    Where the docs are lacking I've get to mail telerik and not get a full response on the missing info. As far as I'm aware all of the bits that I have commented on have been updated in the next release (except possibly where they have said that the property/method is for internal use only, and I'm trying to talk them in to changing that too).

    I think that the product is such a large one and the documentation for it so complex that there are always going to be holes, as users all we can do is point 'em out and hope that they do something about it; something they have never failed in yet, IMHO.

    --
    Stuart
  7. Johan
    Johan avatar
    617 posts
    Member since:
    Mar 2007

    Posted 20 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    Yes, of course, and what I said is not meant to be negative in any way. I have had such terrible experience with 3rd party vendors in terms of support and documentation, that what I currently see here seems too good to be true.

    I'm just pointing some of the few weak spots, I'm sure they will be handled one by one by priority. Keeping docs/examples/support up-to-date for so many products is very difficult for sure and takes time -- and I understand that.

    Cheers,
    --Joha
  8. Stuart Hemming
    Stuart Hemming avatar
    1622 posts
    Member since:
    Jul 2004

    Posted 20 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    Well, I think we can both agree that bad support is something telerik are every likely to be accused of.

    --
    Stuart
  9. Kevin
    Kevin avatar
    549 posts
    Member since:
    Nov 2006

    Posted 20 Mar 2007 Link to this post

    Documentation is quite good actually, to the extent that it is listed as a reference and example in this blog post:

    http://kenfine.blogspot.com/2007/03/essential-references-and-documentation.html

    The author of this blogpost even says, and I quote "Telerik documentation (best documented .NET outside of MSFT, extremely nicely done. Microsoft, buy Telerik and put this in .NET!)".

    But yes, there are always ways to improve. Lack of online documentation for old versions was puzzling to me at the beginnig, but I guess this is a marketing tool to force people to upgrade (not necessarily a bad thing and you can always request old docs on demand, so no big deal).

    Client-side functionality (one of telerik's strongest points) should indeed be documented better. Currently, every product is documented using a different approach and I'm not sure if this is automated by a tool. Client-side javascript documentation is a new field (popular after AJAX made it), and there are not a lot of tools. I can suggest something the MS AJAX team is using (very similar to documenting the server-side API):

    http://weblogs.asp.net/bleroy/archive/2006/05/01/444739.aspx


    What I found so far in client-side documentation in grid is that some parameters to client-side functions (browser args for example) are not listed in the docs. rad Grid seems also to place the client-side event handlers in try/catch blocks, concealing client-side errors (instead, nothing happens, very difficult to debug). Also, the prototype syntax functions telerik is using are not "named" and the stacktrace I get when errors occur are not helpful at all (anonymous functions that are not traceable). This approach will make it much easier to figure out client-side problems:

    http://weblogs.asp.net/bleroy/archive/2007/03/15/what-are-these-foo-bar-baz-functions-in-the-microsoft-ajax-library-files.aspx

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