What are Your Thoughts on TMW Using Answers as Source of Documentation?

3 vues (au cours des 30 derniers jours)
Paul le 24 Mai 2023
Commenté : Walter Roberson le 25 Mai 2023
This Question has an answer that links to this doc page. That doc page, in turn, has a direct link to another Question/Answer (QA) posted by the Mathworks Support Team (MST). Does that make the, or any, MST QA that is linked from the documentation a formal part of the TMW documentation for its products?
In general, using an Answers post as a link from the documentation is rubbing me the wrong way.
a) it seems like Answers should link to the doc
b) does a QA from the MST get the same level of quality control as a doc page?
c) what if the linked QA has to change with a new release? Seems difficult to maintain configuration management, where as with the doc one can always go back to a previous release.
d) not all computers have internet access (which, ironically is the topic of the source doc page), so some users might not have access to a linked QA.
e) would an Answer linked from the doc be considered as normative as the doc itself?
f) what if someone comments on the MST question or answer? Does that comment become part of the documentation? It's certainly possible that a reader not being careful might not realize that such a comment is not from MST.
I don't recall other instances of the doc linking to Answers, but then again I haven't tried every link in the doc. Is this approach now common or becoming moreso?
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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson le 24 Mai 2023
I know the answers to some of these questions, but I do not feel comfortable responding publicly about them.
Rena Berman
Rena Berman le 24 Mai 2023
(Answers dev) @Paul and @Walter Roberson I will see if I can find the appropriate person to answer this question.

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dpb le 24 Mai 2023
My thought is it's abadidea™ and particularly why illustrated by the subject of the given question -- it's a Catch22 situation for that scenario.
There are a multitude of MST posts on Answers but they don't have any more visibility or link to them than any other posting that I can tell; plus they're also posted as Q? given the Answers format provides no other classification so there's no distinction of them being any more valuable than the newbie homework doitforme post unless one does a search by username which may or may not provide anything at all useful for a given subject might be looking for.
IMO it's ok to try to add some other paths to useful info this way, but it definitely should NOT be a substitute for the formal documentation.
As with any other internal TMW actions, guessing what sort of review/support/importance is attached to these internally is a total black box and guessing as to whether they are or are not under some formal review/update process is purely that -- a guess, since TMW doesn't comment on any such issues.
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dpb le 25 Mai 2023
One can filter down that way it seems; just looking at a randomly selected category that tends to have a fairly high number of questions, it seemed that a very high number were posted initially; apparently when somebody at TMW thought of the idea of doing so, it got a fair amount of traction and somebody obviously spent a fair amount of time back in 2009 doing this...
In glancing through, there were a few here and there that had been updated although the one on labeling bars that has been such a hassle with the lack of any builtin facility to do so that I looked to see if had updated to handle recent changes is dated in 2020 and mentions the new position property but mostly explains how to do it in early releases.
It might or might not really help anybody these days; the doc itself does finally have something to say on the topic now that it didn't back then...
Be interesting to hear any take on what TMW's real thoughts/intent are here; from the above it appears the technique hasn't been abandoned, but it doesn't seem to have anything approximating the level of attention that did initially; maybe the idea was to span the universe initially and let the 'bot search take care of it from there for the most part.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson le 25 Mai 2023
Mathworks has an internal knowledgebase that interoperates with Answers. Any given posting in the knowledgebase can be published to be publicly visible, and any given posting that is owned by a Mathworks support account can be removed from visibility here but kept visible in the internal knowledgebase.
When Answers was brought into operation in early 2011, a number of support articles that were already in the knowledgebase were made visible.
I would think it likely that the knowledgebase was activated internally in 2009.

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