This might not help you, but I thought I'd chime in on how I've been using the documentation.
I almost never use the TOC, and navigate almost exclusively using the "bread crumbs" that appear under the search box at the top of the page. I think this gets me to the topic categories in the fewest number of clicks. So if I am on the sparse reference page http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/ref/sparse.html but need more information, and maybe a full page example, I click the "Sparse Matrix Creation" link at the top of the page to get more information (the category page). Another level up in the bread crumb gets me access to more information than just creating a sparse matrix.
I use doc and docsearch from the command line a lot. I think the icons in the search results do a good job of guiding me to a function reference page or to a category page or a full page example. I also find it useful to be able to filter results to just MATLAB and not the toolboxes (or vice versa).
If you find that you're getting particularly lost in the documentation, use the "Was this topic helpful?" link on the bottom of the page and fill out the text fields. That feedback does get read!
"Marc " <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message news:email@example.com... > dpb <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message <email@example.com>... >> On 7/9/2013 10:00 AM, Steven_Lord wrote: >> > "dpb" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message >> > news:email@example.com... >> >> ...[snip the code snippets for brevity...thanks, I'll study them, too]... >> >> >> It does seem to me that the amount of basic explanatory text in >> >> relation to the specific syntax has dropped significantly w/ the new >> >> help documentation combined w/ the explosion in functionality. It >> >> seems like the "Getting Started" documentation could/(should?) >> >> probably grow by order of magnitude for such features. >> > >> > It's a balancing act. If the table of contents for the "Getting >> > Started" >> > documentation looks like the TOC for War and Peace, it would be >> > intimidating for new users. In addition, ACCUMARRAY is not exactly what >> > I would call an introductory function. I think few people will jump >> > right in and start using ACCUMARRAY their first day. >> > >> > I think the mental model for the documentation staff for "Getting >> > Started" is what do new users need in order to get them started using >> > MATLAB. As I look at Getting Started now, all of the topics seem like >> > things that a new user may need to do in their first week of using >> > MATLAB. The basics of working with the Desktop? Sure, absolutely. >> > Matrices and Arrays? Can't do much in MATLAB without them. Indexing? >> > Ditto. >> > >> > Maybe we need an "Intermediate MATLAB Programming" documentation >> > section >> > that discusses some of the more advanced topics, like matrix >> > creation/manipulation with BSXFUN, ACCUMARRAY, etc.? What do others >> > think? >> >> Perhaps...I don't disagree necessarily that "Getting Started" isn't the >> right place, only that it's what there is in the organization. >> >> What I find most frustrating w/ the documentation as a long-time user >> trying to come to grips w/ the new features in a relatively limited >> amount of time which I think sorta' emulates a new user w/ a real problem >> rather than the undergraduate student in first programming course is that >> there isn't a top-level TOC any longer that is visible as before except >> by having to physically revert to it and that, at least to me, it seems >> as though the narrative material that is background is much more >> difficult to find than previously. >> >> I'll swear I've seen some in-depth descriptions of some feature that I >> managed to get to somehow, but later when trying to find it I can't seem >> to get that particular section back no matter how I try to find it. >> Unfortunately, I can't put my finger on a specific example to illustrate >> directly; I just know it has happened on more than one subject having to >> do w/ data structures primarily. Perhaps part of that is having to do w/ >> now having some toolboxes that never had before so now I've got a new >> class or two that tend to get mixed into the search results and so >> sometimes maybe what I've gotten into had to do w/, say, the Statistics >> dataset object when what I had been looking at was details of >> structures... >> >> I agree, 'tis a quandary and the TMW could easily spend 10X the budget on >> documentation and still not cover everything everybody would like. >> >> I do think the new format is a step backwards, however. I've had some >> offline conversations w/ other TMW staff who were/are the contact for the >> current version license arrangement in that regard who has promised to >> take the comments to heart. Now, whether there's any hope of any >> redirection in the ways in which I think it should go I've no idea...I >> have no way of knowing how my feedback and impressions match up w/ those >> from any other users. >> >> I am, however, while occasionally frustrated, trying to be sure that all >> my complaints have some constructive input in direction towards how I >> would prefer to see the area improved/changed/resolved... >> > > This point was brought up in Jan Simon's question about how users feel > about the "new" Matlab interface. This is a hard pill to swallow for me > as well, as I have not only promoted Matlab over the years, but raved > about how excellent the documentation WAS! > I still have 2010a on my laptop, mostly for the documentation. > > That said, this new documentation is a hard sell and no longer something I > rave about. > > This needs to be fixed. There is no shame in going back. Hopefully the > Mathworks is not too big to say, maybe this was a mistake. > > On a functional note, the help system feels like I run into dead ends. I > end up on some page and trying to go back a step seems not possible. So, > I need to go back to the command line, after closing out the help browser, > and arrow up to start again... > > No fixing this. The old documentation was awesome. No need to change.