RH 2019 New UI - Challenge #2: How do YOU get to the bottom of the Topic List report?

Enthusiast ,
Nov 21, 2019

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RH 2019 New UI (2019.0.9)

 

RoboHelpers,

 

The challenge is back! (Related Challenge).

 

*cue the Mission Impossible music* This mission, should you choose to accept it... is to get the end of a Topic List report.

Let's get started!

 

Suppose for a moment you have a large help system with 2300+ topics and multiple folders. Because, hey, who doesn't like a challenge right? Now suppose you have a need to get to the bottom of the Topic List report in order to eventually select a range of several hundred topics to apply a Conditional Build Tag on a large subset of topics.

 

How long does it take you? What's YOUR best method? Your fans want to know!

 

If you're like me, you might think, well shoot, RoboHelp 2019 is a new fangled piece of software. It should just show all the topics. I'll just scroll to the bottom and boom, I'm done! It shouldn't take more than a second.

 

Nrrrrgggg! (That's the sound of the dreaded red you-are-incorrect buzzer!)

 

Sorry, a reasonable person would think that, but this Topic List report in RH 2019 "New UI" (deep soothing breath...ahhh) is anything but reasonable. When you click it, it loads in perhaps oh say 40 or so topics...out of 2300...

 

*cough*

 

So then you think, well dang, I'll just scroll to the bottom then, it'll eventually get there right?

 

Nrrrrgggg! (I'm afraid that's not right either. Okay well sure, eventually, the report will get to the bottom, but who but the most despearate will clickity click click a bazillion times to reach the end? Plus you have deadlines, important missives to respond to, etc.)

 

So then you think, hey, I know, why don't I just press Ctrl + Page Down? After all, it works in RH topics and in MS Word, and virtually every windows application out there. It should jump right to the bottom right?

 

Nrrrrgggg! (Sorry, looks like you're 0 for 3...)

 

Pressing the Ctrl + Page Down won't get you to the bottom either. That approach only makes it load in a bit more---but only a bit (at least relative to the thousands you need to see).

 

So, what's your answer? And how long did it take you? Have fun! And no cheating and using RH 2017. Can YOU beat 4 minutes? 4 minutes is the record to beat!

 

(I'll just say this. This "re-imagined" Topics List report may need a tad be more re-imagining before they get it right.)

TOPICS
HTML, HTML5 layout, New UI

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RH 2019 New UI - Challenge #2: How do YOU get to the bottom of the Topic List report?

Enthusiast ,
Nov 21, 2019

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RH 2019 New UI (2019.0.9)

 

RoboHelpers,

 

The challenge is back! (Related Challenge).

 

*cue the Mission Impossible music* This mission, should you choose to accept it... is to get the end of a Topic List report.

Let's get started!

 

Suppose for a moment you have a large help system with 2300+ topics and multiple folders. Because, hey, who doesn't like a challenge right? Now suppose you have a need to get to the bottom of the Topic List report in order to eventually select a range of several hundred topics to apply a Conditional Build Tag on a large subset of topics.

 

How long does it take you? What's YOUR best method? Your fans want to know!

 

If you're like me, you might think, well shoot, RoboHelp 2019 is a new fangled piece of software. It should just show all the topics. I'll just scroll to the bottom and boom, I'm done! It shouldn't take more than a second.

 

Nrrrrgggg! (That's the sound of the dreaded red you-are-incorrect buzzer!)

 

Sorry, a reasonable person would think that, but this Topic List report in RH 2019 "New UI" (deep soothing breath...ahhh) is anything but reasonable. When you click it, it loads in perhaps oh say 40 or so topics...out of 2300...

 

*cough*

 

So then you think, well dang, I'll just scroll to the bottom then, it'll eventually get there right?

 

Nrrrrgggg! (I'm afraid that's not right either. Okay well sure, eventually, the report will get to the bottom, but who but the most despearate will clickity click click a bazillion times to reach the end? Plus you have deadlines, important missives to respond to, etc.)

 

So then you think, hey, I know, why don't I just press Ctrl + Page Down? After all, it works in RH topics and in MS Word, and virtually every windows application out there. It should jump right to the bottom right?

 

Nrrrrgggg! (Sorry, looks like you're 0 for 3...)

 

Pressing the Ctrl + Page Down won't get you to the bottom either. That approach only makes it load in a bit more---but only a bit (at least relative to the thousands you need to see).

 

So, what's your answer? And how long did it take you? Have fun! And no cheating and using RH 2017. Can YOU beat 4 minutes? 4 minutes is the record to beat!

 

(I'll just say this. This "re-imagined" Topics List report may need a tad be more re-imagining before they get it right.)

TOPICS
HTML, HTML5 layout, New UI

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Nov 21, 2019 2
Contributor ,
Nov 22, 2019

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I was going to direct you to an extensive review of 14.0.8... and then I saw you wrote that one yourself 🙂 

 

While the tone might be a bit mocking Adobe, I hope they read this and take note. It's really valuable advice.

 

I'm also trying out the new UI, from scratch. I was used to RH11 in my previous job, and indeed it needed some reimagining. So I'm happy to try out the new UI. And I want to like it. I really do. But man, they make it hard once you really start to use it and get beneath the surface of things. My days are split between "wow, that works really nice" and "you gotta be kidding me" experiences. And not having 2300 topics to move over I probably run into less problems than you do.

 

The great people on this forum really help me through this, and provide a stellar level of support. I can't praise them enough for this. This in contrast to the e-mail support by Adobe itself, which will acknowlegde each question with "we'll get to this ASAP" but then sometimes take weeks to respond, if at all. I usually find out myself at some point and then educate THEM what was the matter. Well, that was before I found out how well this forum works. Now I just post here 🙂

 

Anyway, writing for the software business myself, I can acknowledge that creating a UI is hard, really hard. Getting all the tiny details right for situations that you never even thought of (such as having 2300 topics in the topic list) can be very frustrating, for the users as well as the programmers. Fixing all these bugs is very labor-intensive. And the market for this kind of software is limited, so resources are limited as well. Especially at the relatively cheap price point they're offering it at. The ROI becomes negative really quickly. Maybe they've bitten of more than they can chew (or at least more than they expected) with the reimagining of the UI.

 

So, wanting this project to succeed, I'm giving them some slack, and try to give a heads up here of the most dealbreaking problems I run into (no build log would be certainly one of them), and reporting it in the bug tracker, so they can fix it over time.

 

I hope they don't find me annoying, but value my time instead. In the mean time, I enjoyed your write-up, because I can relate to your experience very well 🙂

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Nov 22, 2019 1
Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Erwin, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The people on the forums and their responsiveness (Peter et al) are indeed excellent. I appreciate Adobe setting up the forum and letting us help each other. I just...wish things were better / different with RH 2019 New UI.

 

I've been in the software industry for most of my career as well. I know what it's like. Crafting a new product with good UX (that's User Experience--not just a pretty UI) requires a great deal of user research and testing. It just feels like something was missed along those lines, and they created a product that perhaps works well for small to medium-sized projects but seems to break down with larger ones.

 

I just want it to work at least as well as RH 2017. I don't care if it's different; I can learn something new, but new versions, new functionality, a complete remake, a new imagining... shouldn't it all be more efficient than the previous version? Perhaps others experiences are different from mine, but for me, I'm not experiencing any of the nirvana... the above being just one case in point where in RH 2017 you can get to the bottom of the same Topic List window in less than 1 second! (sigh). I know that's prob due to different architecture etc.

 

I want it to succeed as well, mainly because I really don't want to have to switch products, but business realities are...well, real. We'll see what happens.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Oh the irony. I've just spent quite a bit of time reading a post that could be summed up "are others finding it takes a long time to get to the end of the Topic List Report when there is a large number of topics?"

 

The answer is yes and Adobe are aware of the deficiencies there.

 

As Erwin has pointed out, it's difficult getting this new UI right but in all my years dealing with Adobe, I have never known them so responsive as they are now when I highlight issues. With one of your other posts, a senior developer has responded quickly and asked for the project. That didn't used to happen.

 

There are issues but the development tool they are using enables them to fix things in a fraction of the time it would take on the old platform.


www.grainge.org

Please use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Peter, I certainly could have written it in a less verbose (and less fun) style, but I was feeling the need for some good ol' tongue-in-cheek goodness to stay sane. And it is a real challenge. I really do want to know if people with a similarly sized project can indeed beat my 4-minute scroll time! The guantlet is tossed down. 🙂

 

I'm glad Adobe is aware of this defficiency, and I'm glad they are more responsive in the past. Regarding quickness in fixing things, I certainly hope they can quickly resolve this and other critical issues.

 

Thank you for your constant support and help by the way. It's not unnoticed.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Engaged ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Hi Jared,

in the topic list report, on the top left in the header row, before the list of topics starts, there is a checkbox that will select all topics.

Also, you can for example filter for the folders you want to edit and only show the topics in these folders.

TopicList.png

Regards
Karin

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Nov 22, 2019 1
Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Thanks Karin. I am aware of that check box. I wasn't aware you could select multiple folders like that from the right side. That is indeed helpful, though it is painfully slow still to select multiple folders that way but seems to be faster than trying to scroll to the bottom. I'll give it a try.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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So I tried this right-pane folder filter with the check box on the top-left some more. There's unfortunately a limitation with all this. That check box on the top left seems to only select the visible list of topics in the window and not all the topics from the filtered folders.

 

The window only shows a subset of the topics in the selected folders. This is the same limitation as I originally posted.

 

From what I just tested, you still have to click or press End multiple times to scroll to the bottom of the window to expose all the topics in those folders and then you can use that top-left check box to select them all.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Engaged ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Currently, I only have 300 files, and up to this number, it works fine. All items are selected, visible or not on the screen. So the limitation seems to depend on the project size and is not a general problem.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Good to know that up to 300 is okay. I wonder when it starts breaking down? Thanks for the response.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Contributor ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Well, that's hopeful. It could be that our expectations are a bit high, caused by the marketing blurb as if this was the best thing ever to happen to techcomm 🙂 But they're not quite there yet. I can't imagine someone in a large production environment using this, as it stands. Just too much risk of the program or compiler crashing and you'll never know why.

 

But, the potential is certainly there. There are also a lot of things that DO work well. Their HTML is certainly a lot cleaner than the classic versions, which is why I would like to stick with the new UI if in any way possible. I hope Adobe can find the resources to finish the job. I for one, will keep reporting the things I run into.

 

And thank you Peter and all the others for guiding everyone through this. Really, very much appreciated.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Amen.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 22, 2019

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To be specific the issue Adobe are aware of is the problems with large projects.

 

Can I also ask everyone to note the bit about which Reply button to use? The problem with using the button next to a particular post is that reply will be below the specific post rather than in date order. You end up with a situation where the latest reply can be on the first page of a multi page thread. It's a known limitation of these new forums and one that is being bitterly complained about. For now though it is what it is so using the first Reply button on a page really helps.


www.grainge.org

Please use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you. The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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Nov 22, 2019 0
Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Personally, I think how the replies are handled it's a matter of personal perception and opinion.

 

I would bet that the nested replies is probably working as designed, rather than a limitation. I can certainly understand why some people don't like it, but it does actually group conversations together which I can also understand is also useful as each main response that a person gives is like starting a separate conversion thread about a possible solution to someones issue. You can then have a bunch of nested conversations it and give more targeted responses.

 

I can see why they did it even if it may seem a little awkward if you aren't used to it. We do it on our product's forums as well, and we call those nested responses "Comments" on someone elses comment. (You can see an example here). I personally think nested conversation threads on main responses are great as long as the indenting doesn't get too wonky.

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Nov 22, 2019 0