they should use the software as their ERP/CRM solution rather than just sell the software, then it would work correctly.
Gonna have to gently push back here a bit.
Listening to customers is WHY there are so many changes. We can’t get ten people to agree here on this list let alone thousands. Trying to please many companies can lead to oscillating changes if one isn’t careful.
Epicor is “keeping up” with an online version of the documentation. This is how pretty much all software companies run. Microsoft generates a PDF every time it generates the help files, so it can be done. But what about the versions downloaded? They’re out of date.
How quickly does the documentation and marketing materials get changed at your companies after an ECO? What happens to all the printed versions out there? Do you collect them from the customers?
The XY problem is a little different. There is a problem X and we think we have a solution Y. Trying to implement Y becomes “the problem.” Sometimes, we want solutions Y without knowing what the current problem (X) is. There’s probably a different name for that… Y Oh Y maybe…
How is there not a badge for dad jokes?
Well, basically never; we are engineer-to-order, so it’s kind of a different ballgame there – any marketing material is very generic.
It’s more the internal struggle of revisions. That process is very slow and everyone hates all of it. Too slow, too fast, no one held my hand and told me exactly how to do my job for this exact ECO, etc.
But replacing that with engineering changes that no one knows about is not the solution.
Or replacing it with Revision 1,425.3 (moved iso view 4 mm to the left) creates so much noise that substantive revisions get ignored along with all the other tweets.
Point is, I’d argue the same for software docs. Capturing a batch of changes periodically is better than a living document, IMHO. I like slow deliberate change.
I’ve already lost this fight. I know. The cheese is already moved.
And now you got a badge to prove it
So getting back to the lactose free subject of the tread…
Maybe I am an anomaly but the PDF is huge difference over the web version of the documentation. Most times, I don’t know what I don’t know. The PDF gives you a start to finish discussion of the software or area. Many times there are parts of CRM or plant maintenance, for example, that I did not consider were covered in the software.
With hyperlinks it is much tougher to go from start to finish when it is endless clicking.
I asked where these were when Kinetic rolled out and the Epicor staff were indifferent to this. When you know the software like the back of your hand then to just click on one subject is not a big deal. If you want a good overview the PDF is very helpful.
It is the same document just in a different format it still flows through the same way. It is literally the same document just built right into the Epicor help.
That’s for sure. It really is absurdly hard to go to the next subtopic in a topic. It is a barrier to learning that forces a user to just give up.
Have you ever looked at a website to see how many people make it past the home page or more than 2 pages in? The drop-off in interest is severe. So web design is much more focused on continuous scroll now.
PDFs are continuous scroll. I guess if an interactive version could do that, too, then OK fine, dump the PDF.
Epicor should still maintain the BO .chm and other things until they actually sunset making changes to BOs.
To be clear, there is nothing inherently bad about a PDF. The issue with anything printed (and PDF is a print), is that it is locked in time. If you’re interested in preserving history, that’s cool but if you’re looking for the most up-to-date information, then not so much.
I think Microsoft Docs has found the happy place: an online version that accepts feedback/changes (via GitHub) and a printable version that is created EVERY TIME a new online version is released.
In the upper-left, there is a topic index for the entire site, which can be filtered. This covers all the pages on this Main Topic.
In the upper right, there is a search index built for this site on every build.
Below that is an Article index to jump to sections “below the fold”
Next to that is a pencil that takes you to GitHub for the source code of the page. You can make an suggested edit (Pull Request) and if accepted, the system rebuilds the site with your changes.
Finally, in the lower left, is the option to download a PDF version of the site. This is NOT a File | Print version of the site. It uses a Markdown to PDF tool to layout a real document that contains all of the same links available online. As mentioned above, this PDF is built at the same time the site is built so it is always up-to-date.
I’m impressed. Journalism lingo. My mother who has worked at the local paper for two decades would be proud.