Date: Jul 9, 2013 12:00 PM
Author: dpb
Subject: Re: I'm dense, but...somebody 'splain accumarray() please?

On 7/9/2013 10:00 AM, Steven_Lord wrote:
> "dpb" <> wrote in message
> news:krf8cj$5kh$

...[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...