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[StrongED] Re: StrongED Primer, help wanted

In article <09a0255553.fjgraute@xxxxxxxxx>, Fred Graute
<fjgraute@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:


> Philip's question earlier today is one example of things that are not
> immediate obvious to (new) users. 

I'm not sure it's just new users!  ;-)

StrongED is brilliant but Inevitably nothing is perfect and there is
something I think is another barrier to new users and a new manual is
welcome but not the solution when people (me for example) don't often
read them! Every developer's nightmare, I know.

I still sometimes find it really annoying that StrongED has action
buttons but they don't work 'out of the box'. Using StrongHTML mode, for
example, and try to insert a photo and the default is for SE to tell you
it's unauthorised: read the manual. (I usually use HTML³ anyway because
it offers more functionality but occasionally it would be useful to use a
button for a quick minor edit. I did change the settings once then an
update put them back again, so I have changed them again - in
Boot:Choices - and hope they stay that way.)

I understand this refusal to operate 'normally' is for security reasons
to prevent spurious bits of external code doing naughty things but for
modes supplied with the package, this draconian level of security should
be completely unnecessary, shouldn't it?

I guess there must be a logical rationale behind this belt and braces
approach with supplied modes but if it is going to be present I would
like a simple switch somewhere to turn it all off at a click. I click on
buttons only when I want to do something and find "Are you sure? Read the
manual. Go change a buried text file of options." to be complete overkill
with supplied modes, if not a bit odd or even rude! What we do is then go
there and change all the N to Y so as not to be inconvenienced again.

These days, "nobody" reads a manual _before_ using software and just
expect things to work immediately, intuitively, or perhaps with the aid
of floating help. When we do encounter a 'read the manual' error box it
doesn't link to it but tells you to look in the Security section of the
manual. Security is not listed on the front page (it's <Menu> to search a
StrongHelp manual, newbies) and I wonder for how many users, this is the
first time they go there? On the Security page (does this need a title as
well as in the title bar of the window?) in the section about the
ModeLock File it tells me the file location is in ... where? (Remember,
this is the first or even the only page of the manual a new user may

Of course the files concerned are either in !StrongED itself or
!StrED_cfg   Now, surely such locations have system variables set and
such things could be opened directly from the manual's page(s), couldn't
they? At least making all that shift/click navigation easier. Those
directories can be quite buried. Not just down the filer tree but under
tons of windows too!

Don't get me wrong: I adore StrongED and wouldn't be without it but I
don't think there should be artificial barriers to its operation nor
should software ever FORCE anyone to read a manual. You lose users that
way. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a manual, far from it: there
always is a need for reference documentation when something isn't
understood or goes wrong and there are a few people who will sit and read
an entire manual over coffee before touching a keyboard. StrongED seems
to have an excellent manual but I am amazed at how I have managed even
editing simple video with Sony Vegas Studio for years and only ever
looked in the manual for the inevitable advice about missing codecs! This
is partly because I could already use another video editor, just as
people will come to StrongED from other, possibly slightly inferior,
editors and will just expect things to work. 

Providing such strong security which is immediately undermined by being
sent to a page to perform a search'n'replace Y for N makes it seem a bit
pointless. (Newbie: What do all those headings mean? I'll just change
everything - it's easier.)

Just 2p. Sorry if it seems more.

Keep up the great work.


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