4 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2017 12:13 PM by jill.carlsen

    <sigh> Documentation changes...again...

    Toby Erkson

      For this discussion this is the link being clicked:

      For version 10.3 we get this:

      For version 10.4 we get this much shorter, less useful side menu:


      When I need to get to the Command Line Utilities, like tabadmin or tabcmd, hitting the product documentation page and going into the admin guide is fast and easy.  Now with 10.4 a lot of the side TOC is missing, requiring a search to find something.  After looking around I did find my beloved command line info at the bottom of the page   Side note:  Interesting that the REST API link takes the reader to the community forums site, not to the more logical document page Tableau REST API.


      I'm really not happy with the documentation inconsistencies and changes that deviate from getting results quickly, easily, efficiently as of these last few versions.  Is the old-school TOC too old-school?  Not when it allows me to find what I need quickly instead of manually or programmatically searching for content.  My wish is for online documentation to bottom out on a consistent format.


      The real kicker is that the lack of documentation consistency makes it more troublesome to research and solve issues between versions.  If I look for something in 10.3 documentation I will expect to find it in the same location for the 10.4 documentation.  When I need to figure out why something isn't working, for my environment or helping someone in the Tableau Community forums, the search is slowed when the content isn't easily found in what should be "the same book".

        • 1. Re: <sigh> Documentation changes...again...
          Carisa Chang

          Hi Toby, thank you for pointing this out! I'll ask our Tableau Server documentation team to take a look at the changes asap.

          • 2. Re: <sigh> Documentation changes...again...

            Hi Toby,

            It's me again, you know, from last time. :-\ I'm sorry I don't have a more uplifting reason to catch up with you, and I probably don't have things one might consider solutions for today, but hoping I can help or at least explain some of the changes. Thanks to Carissa for letting us know about your post. And by the way, thanks for your positive feedback a little while ago about us adding info re: tabadmin set options that can be altered.


            For the current version (10.4), moving out the end-user-oriented Getting Started section freed up space at the top, and that let us re-categorize the admin guide into phases (similar to Everybody's Install Guide). One goal was actually to make those nav menus less overwhelming! Unfortunately it's not something we can just revert back to.


            You can click/tap the top menus (i.e., Plan, Deploy), to get a page that has links to all of the topics in that section, along with the nav widget. Hoping that those are useful, but I can see in your specific example, as a repeatable action, getting used to the new location of the command-line utilities might be more straightforward.


            I suppose it's somewhat inevitable that we introduce changes with each or every other release. I know we could do better with communicating major changes ahead of time, so thanks for that reminder. We aren't against the left-side TOC, either. However, if we actually were able to simply use it, you'd still be navigating the same categories you're seeing now. Is it fair to interpret that your feedback is also geared toward an improvement in the nav structure itself?


            In any case, as with previous incarnations, we are far from saying we’ve figured it all out or are “done.” So we continue to work on it, and we really appreciate your feedback and perspective. And I’m sorry that the changes create some churn.


            You raised a good point about navigating between versions. Including a version picker has been on our wishlist for some time. In the meantime, you might know this, but you can fudge with the URL to see a previous version of a topic if one exists. Replace “current” with v10.3 or v10.2, etc. It wouldn’t work, for example, if we’ve consolidated info in an attempt to wrangle some redundancy, and the topic no longer exists (yes redirects are on the list, too!). But maybe a useful trick if you (or anyone else reading) didn't already know it.


            Can you tell me which REST API link you’re referring to? The one on the Tableau Help page in your screenshot took me to the expected help page. You’re right that it used to go roundabout the forums, but it looks like that’s fixed now. Or were you talking about a different link?


            Are you in Vegas? It'd be really great if you had a chance to meet up with the server admin writers who are there. Let me know if I can have them get in touch with you or vice-versa.





            • 3. Re: <sigh> Documentation changes...again...
              Toby Erkson

              Jill, hi!

              I was in the Tableau Labs for the documentation lab (Help us help the helper...something like that) and it was GREAT to talk to the guys there about the changes AND give my feedback.  Loved that session!!!


              I also bumped into two of the Tableau Server documentation guys and we spent an impromptu meeting talking about the Server online documentation.  Loved that "session", too!!!


              The documentation folks I met were great, asked me questions, and took in my feedback.  I don't remember their names (unless I interact with someone often I'm terrible with names) but it was so cool for me to meet them.  Thank you so much for allowing them to attend, it actually was one of my conference highlights, I kid you not

              • 4. Re: <sigh> Documentation changes...again...

                Hooray, Toby! I'm so glad you all got to meet in person and that it was a good session. I know they feel the same. Dang it, I'm really envious now.


                It's for meetings like this that our manager not only allows, but actively encourages us to go to TC! It's pretty awesome that the company makes it a priority to send as many of us as they can.


                Thank you so much again for using our docs and for taking the time to post relevant and actionable feedback for us! Hope we can be in touch soon.