Posted 16 Apr 2012
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after one month of working with Telerik controls, the documentation is the last place I would want to go. Lets take an example:
I would like to know more about RadTreeListView SelectionChanged event (its simple, probably everybody uses it, and probably all know what it is, but we should never guess, but always make sure we get it right). So I open silverlight online help:
1. type SelectionChanged, I will get 147 results, and if you look at the list itself, most of them are meaningless, - there is no extra info.
2. Lets try typing RadTreeListView SelectionChanged. I get 104 results... again list displays meaningless info - look at the first 10 items to understand what I mean.
3. Lets try to search RadTreeListView class. NEVER use Tree-content on the left side, it is a pain to use it. You need to click on API reference, then wait for page to load again (???), then scroll down to Controls namespace, then wait the page to load again, then scrool waaaaaaaaay down to RadTreeListVIew, then wait for page to load again, then scroll waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down to RadTreeListView... I could save myself with half of the scrollings if page was not loaded each time I select something... never use table of context... instead use search... typing RadTreeListView, and then clicking on the class info,
4. click on members, and then I can see that there are no inherited members... so now, if I need to find an inherited member, I will need to know from what class was it inherited. But I don't know that...
5. I go back to Class info, there I see it inherits from GridViewDataControl (has link), and implements IThemable (no link). I will not speak about interfaces anymore, it seems that they are not documented at all.
6. Click on the GridViewDataControl, then members, then search in events - nope, its not there
7. GOing back to GridViewDataControl class info, to see what does it inherit. It inherits from baseItemsControl (link)
8. Click on BaseItemsControl, then members, then search events - nope, still not there....
9. Going back to BaseItemsControl class info, then see what it inherits - DataControl
10. Click on DataControl, then members, aaand voila - finally I found it.
Now think if RadTreeListView would list all events, inherited and its own, so I just need to look into members of RadTreeListView. I dont want to take credits for inventing this, this is already used on many websites that show documentation for particular software.
Now lets discuss about information in documentation. Lets go again to members of RadtreeListView. I know you are tempted to use table of context, but dont, use search instead. We will look at the properties that are listed. What you see written in the description, you will see the same if you click on the property link. MOstly the information contain the property name with spaces, and added Get / set in front of it. Take the AutoLoadHierarchy. We dont know what is the default value, we dont see any explanation, so it is expected that you understand what it is. Why would I come to read the link then at all, what is the purpose of its existence? And there are tons of info like this.
I know, if you put a lot of information, you would need to keep it updated, more work, but then again, your support should have less job buy answering support tickets and forum threads.