gaps in documentation?

PhilBurton
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gaps in documentation?

Post by PhilBurton » 02 Oct 15 18:27

I'm still trying to learn PSU. I honestly try to read documentation (or RTFM :) ) but I can't find anything for scripting. Is there someplace I didn't look, or do people learn how to do scripting by trial and error?

Going a bit further, are there other parts of PSU where the documentation is missing?

Phil
Photo Supreme user
Home built i7 3930, 32 GB RAM, Win 10 Pro 64, latest version of Photo Supreme 3, Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CS 6 (perpetual licenses)

Hert
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by Hert » 02 Oct 15 19:38

Script samples can be found here: http://repository.idimager.com/cgi-bin/ ... to+Supreme

There's also a documentation tab at the top
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vlad
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by vlad » 03 Oct 15 14:13

Phil, my experience is that the Photo Supreme API documentation is good strictly as a barebone reference, but you need to do a lot of digging around in order to make sense of the data types, function and param semantics etc. The script samples pointed by Hert are certainly very helpful and a good starting point. I have found that even some old scripts (for the former IdImager product) may reveal useful bits or hints, although (large?) parts of the API have meanwhile changed. I occasionally found helpful samples or hints in the forum itself (including the board for the former product). Bottom line, trial and error is gonna be your best friend! :wink:

(Feel free to ask technical questions as you go, but keep in mind I'm not an API expert so don't rely on my limited knowledge; I guess you may ask questions in Mantis too.)

fbungarz
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by fbungarz » 03 Oct 15 19:41

Vlad is correct, PSU's help is the bare minimum, but prior to this new software release, documentation was awfully scant as well. Mike Buckley at one time wrote a fantastic workbook for the previous software IDImager ver. 5. It was an extremely thorough, in-depth review. I am not sure, if he plans to publish anything similar on PSU. That would be fantastic!
You are lucky though: PSU's interface is a lot less confusing and much more intuitive than IDIs (perhaps with the exception how versions are being displayed, which I personally find completely counter-intuitive). In any case - the learning curve is definitely a lot less steep. I am sure you'll get the hang of it quickly and this forum is a good place if you get stuck.
Cheers,
Frank

PhilBurton
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by PhilBurton » 03 Oct 15 20:20

fbungarz wrote:Vlad is correct, PSU's help is the bare minimum, but prior to this new software release, documentation was awfully scant as well. Mike Buckley at one time wrote a fantastic workbook for the previous software IDImager ver. 5. It was an extremely thorough, in-depth review. I am not sure, if he plans to publish anything similar on PSU. That would be fantastic!
You are lucky though: PSU's interface is a lot less confusing and much more intuitive than IDIs (perhaps with the exception how versions are being displayed, which I personally find completely counter-intuitive). In any case - the learning curve is definitely a lot less steep. I am sure you'll get the hang of it quickly and this forum is a good place if you get stuck.
Cheers,
Frank
Frank and Vlad, Replying to both your posts.

Thank you for confirming my suspicion about both the documentation and the learning curve for PSU itself. In another thread, about the product development roadmap, http://forum.idimager.com/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=23901, I happened to comment that in real life, I am a software product manager. One of the big, really big issues always is "ease of use." Ideally, ideally, a software product should be so easy to use that you don't need any documentation except perhaps short pieces of text in the product itself. Facebook is a good example, but PSU is not. The next best thing is really good documentation.

Let me give you an example. Scripts. What I hoped I would find is:
  • What is a script (just in case I didn't already know)
    How are they used? Which parts of PSU?
    How to create a script? How do I create a window? How do I add/edit/delete data? Can a script run automatically when I start or stop PSU? Can a script run in the background?
    What does it mean to compile a script? (I have done programming so I understand the term, but I'll bet most photographers don't know) Does a script have to be compiled before use?
    How do I install a script for use?
    How do I modify a script that someone else has written?
    Is XMP custom metadata, like that one that Frank has done, a script?
The reason that I, as a product manager, worry about ease of use is that a product that addresses this issue generates fewer support calls, and in general, sells better. Sometime much better.

Thanks for reading.

Phil
Photo Supreme user
Home built i7 3930, 32 GB RAM, Win 10 Pro 64, latest version of Photo Supreme 3, Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CS 6 (perpetual licenses)

Mke
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by Mke » 04 Oct 15 9:55

PhilBurton wrote:What I hoped I would find is:
  • What is a script (just in case I didn't already know)
    How are they used? Which parts of PSU?
    How to create a script? How do I create a window? How do I add/edit/delete data? Can a script run automatically when I start or stop PSU? Can a script run in the background?
    What does it mean to compile a script? (I have done programming so I understand the term, but I'll bet most photographers don't know) Does a script have to be compiled before use?
    How do I install a script for use?
    How do I modify a script that someone else has written?
    Is XMP custom metadata, like that one that Frank has done, a script?
Phil
Yes, that would indeed be very helpful...

Stephen
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by Stephen » 04 Oct 15 19:48

:)
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

Mike Buckley
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by Mike Buckley » 08 Oct 15 13:07

fbungarz wrote:Mike Buckley at one time wrote a fantastic workbook for the previous software IDImager ver. 5...I am not sure, if he plans to publish anything similar on PSU.
He :mrgreen: won't be doing that. Even so, his :mrgreen: workbook didn't include anything about how to write scripts. It only referenced a few pre-written scripts and explained how to find, run and save pre-written scripts.

PhilBurton
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Location: CA, USA

Re: documentation on scripts?

Post by PhilBurton » 09 Oct 15 20:21

Mike Buckley wrote:
fbungarz wrote:Mike Buckley at one time wrote a fantastic workbook for the previous software IDImager ver. 5...I am not sure, if he plans to publish anything similar on PSU.
He :mrgreen: won't be doing that. Even so, his :mrgreen: workbook didn't include anything about how to write scripts. It only referenced a few pre-written scripts and explained how to find, run and save pre-written scripts.
So, can anyone else take a stab at answering my questions. Not all of them, just one or two, to get this thread re-started. (I've changed the subject line.
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Hert
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by Hert » 11 Oct 15 7:40

In general: a script is a piece of code (from a programming effort) that allows you to write your own features.

Scripts are interpreted, compiling a script means that it is checked for syntax errors and is then kept in memory in a compiled form, ready for executing. The scripter is an interpreter. Start scripting from Tools-Scripter. It gives you a simple editor where you can enter object pascal code.
The repository-documentation tab that I pointed you to, explains the different scripting types

To edit a script from someone else, then open the Scripter, load or paste the code, change it, run it and save the code.

The scripter uses object pascal language and provides access to the PSU functional layer object classes. There are links to those in the documentation tab of the repository.

Scripts can't be started to run as a background service, nor on startup/close down.
This is a User-to-User forum which means that users post questions here for other users.
Feature requests, change suggestions, or bugs can be logged in the ticketing system

vlad
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by vlad » 11 Oct 15 20:28

PhilBurton wrote:One of the big, really big issues always is "ease of use."
That's absolutely true. However, another big issue for specialized products is power and flexibility (albeit that matters only for a fraction of users). Sometimes these requirements are not easy to reconcile. As a matter of fact, I think that Photo Supreme is very good at attempting that, although there's certainly room for improvement. (Well, there's huge room in the case of scripting support/doc - but let's admit that's a specialized, niche area.)
Ideally, ideally, a software product should be so easy to use that you don't need any documentation except perhaps short pieces of text in the product itself.

I strongly agree. Again, that's inherently difficult to achieve when we're talking about advanced features and settings which involve, by their very nature, highly technical aspects. (As Einstein supposedly said: everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.)
Facebook is a good example, but PSU is not.
That's true - but may I suggest that PSU does not cater to a 1.5 billion user market? (I'm not saying that there isn't a huge consumer marker for mantaining pictures and movies, but if IdImager simply wanted to attract as many (non-advanced) users as possible, then it should probably drop the support for XMP and technical stuff - or seperate those features into plugins, or embed them into an advanced software product etc.)
The next best thing is really good documentation.
Agreed - although it's debatable what's the best format of good documentation.

Stephen
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by Stephen » 12 Oct 15 14:04

Without more comprehensive documentation, somebody (EVERY user?) will have to note (or remember, ha ha) all of the valuable tips which have been and will be given in this forum; many of which are rather essential for a proper use of the application.

Might I suggest a Q+A area where frequently asked questions are placed with their answers? For further info the user can then search through the individual threads.
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

LifeIsLong
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Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by LifeIsLong » 12 Oct 15 18:25

Stephen, I agree with your concern. Years ago the comment was made that documentation was not updated because it would limit the number of minor releases. The current trend, however, is longer between minor releases, especially past about April or so. If this is the new norm, I would like to see better documentation as part of those releases.

PhilBurton
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Location: CA, USA

Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by PhilBurton » 17 Oct 15 23:51

fbungarz wrote: Mike Buckley at one time wrote a fantastic workbook for the previous software IDImager ver. 5. It was an extremely thorough, in-depth review. I am not sure, if he plans to publish anything similar on PSU. That would be fantastic!
Frank
Frank (and Mike),

Is this workbook still available for download?

Phil Burton
Photo Supreme user
Home built i7 3930, 32 GB RAM, Win 10 Pro 64, latest version of Photo Supreme 3, Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CS 6 (perpetual licenses)

PhilBurton
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Location: CA, USA

Re: gaps in documentation?

Post by PhilBurton » 17 Oct 15 23:56

IDimager wrote:In general: a script is a piece of code (from a programming effort) that allows you to write your own features.

Scripts are interpreted, compiling a script means that it is checked for syntax errors and is then kept in memory in a compiled form, ready for executing. The scripter is an interpreter. Start scripting from Tools-Scripter. It gives you a simple editor where you can enter object pascal code.
The repository-documentation tab that I pointed you to, explains the different scripting types

To edit a script from someone else, then open the Scripter, load or paste the code, change it, run it and save the code.

The scripter uses object pascal language and provides access to the PSU functional layer object classes. There are links to those in the documentation tab of the repository.

Scripts can't be started to run as a background service, nor on startup/close down.
Thanks for this explanation.

Just one question, based on the fact that I used to program in Fortran and PL/I, but never pascal. :wink: Does your implementation support things like DO-loops or IF-THEN-ELSE statements? :D :D
Photo Supreme user
Home built i7 3930, 32 GB RAM, Win 10 Pro 64, latest version of Photo Supreme 3, Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CS 6 (perpetual licenses)

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