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Author Topic: Documentation update  (Read 13512 times)

Offline bucko

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Documentation update
« on: September 03, 2012, 10:53:04 pm »
I have spent hundreds of hours reading this forum, trying to learn about my new Vera 3 and Z Wave use/programming. Most of which has only served to confuse me further figuring out how all this stuff works. Scenc set-up, device configs, or features settings and functions.

I am an electronics technician, alarm/access control specialist, advanced computer user. (Not a programmer). I am not stupid. Why aren't I getting half of this stuff? The blame lies squarely with MCV.

One common issue I gleen from reading most of these threads refer to poorly written, even non existent documentation available to users. Why is this? This just isn't right whatsoever. End users like myself invest thousands of dollars in this system, and then spend countless hours trying to make all this stuff work. What's "automated" about this picture?

The reason I concluded is this........

 MCV is loaded with a bunch of gearhead engineers who are very smart in what they do. My hats are off to them. I respect the hard work coming up with this technology.

BUT, the last people on the planet who should be writing manuals and documentation of these products for end users,  ARE ENGINEERS! Engineers are not wired to express operation and implementation of the very things they design. This is true in every industry. You never have engineers try to explain how something works......EVER, period. Doesn't work......never will.

The result is exactly what I find here in MCV. Explaining something based on the assumption that I already have a high level skill set with this technology. Manuals should be written based on the assumption that the user is a dummy newbi from the start. Then ALL the details of a specific topic are included in the writing. Engineers should only be talking to users to answer and solve specific operational problems users are having. Here they can assume a user has read the manual and is up to speed with it's use.

I strongly request that MCV buck up and employ professional technical writers to produce a comprehensive step by step user's manual to include updated and current information on the set-up, programming, and complete operation of EVERY function within the Vera/Z Wave product once and for all. When I click the wrench, EVERY single parameter should be fully explained and the options available laid out clearly. I should not have to jump all over the net to figure this out. In fact, it should be a DVD included with each Vera unit. Not some outdated wiki link BS.

Currently the situation is a huge disservice to it's customers.  Wasting my time, AS WELL AS MCV's time, going round and round in here answering threads on things that SHOULD be covered in a manual in the first place.  I point to the latest experience I had with the thread about "Healing". After reading though it, it leaves me more confused than I started with. No answers, just opinions, ideas, assumptions how it should be configured. What's up with that?

Somebody at MCV needs to take this issue seriously and get this this thing on the books. Create a FUNCTIONAL manual for God's sake!

Users, please chime in here. Is anybody with me on this? What is your feeling?

Ok, I will get off my soapbox. But count me as a very frustrated customer at this point. I hope that means something to the MCV people.
Vera 3, 40+ Fibaro relays & dimmers, IPUX cams, Elk M1 Gold, M1XEP, M1SP, XVOR, M1RB, Elk124, Monoprice HDMI matrix & 6 zone amp, Denon AVR, Panasonic A8000, BI DV,On Controls

Offline garrettwp

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 01:38:23 am »
Documentation can be found here:

http://docs5.mios.com/doc.php

You can also find information on the wiki @ wiki.micasaverde.com some of the documentation on the wiki is outdated. But has a wealth of information. It is both contributed by MCV and the community.

- Garrett

Offline papaworx

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 12:07:47 pm »
I can only support Bucko's rant. As professional the hardware is, as unprofessional is the documentation that goes with it. This fact may ultimately knell the death toll for Micasaverde. I have 52 years of computer experience and program professionally in C#, Java and php. But so far I have spent two days trying to find the information on how to link devices, scenes, schedules and triggers.
If Micasaverde wants to survive, they should get together a documentation writing team as quickly as possible. Even if it includes a bunch of volunteers from this forum working together with people from MCV.

Offline psychoboy

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 01:33:54 pm »
+1

Offline Head full of bad wiring

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 04:10:10 pm »
+1!!
note: English is not my native language.....

Offline djs73

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 07:24:21 am »

Users, please chime in here. Is anybody with me on this? What is your feeling?


Totally agree. I installed my vera two months ago and spent countless hours on the forum, experimenting and tinkering. Sometimes this is 'part of the fun'. But for basic operation it is just to clouded and you want a manual with clear examples.

Offline rdhalstead

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 06:38:49 pm »
I have to agree with the comments on bad documentation. I am also new to this product. After many days of futzing around, I finally got the beast to work turning lights on and of when I wanted them to do so. The documentation was useless, some links to the docs went to blank pages. Those docs (FAQ) that were helpful were poorly written. What is sorely needed is Versa for dummies, covering all the products, I happen to have a Versa 3. Nice when you get it working, not so nice setting it up, and I have been a UNUX Systems Administrator for >25 years.

Ron

Offline bucko

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 11:16:52 pm »
My New Year's wish for 2013 is MCV listening to this thread AND DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Vera 3, 40+ Fibaro relays & dimmers, IPUX cams, Elk M1 Gold, M1XEP, M1SP, XVOR, M1RB, Elk124, Monoprice HDMI matrix & 6 zone amp, Denon AVR, Panasonic A8000, BI DV,On Controls

Offline papaworx

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 09:42:54 am »
As unhappy as I am with the documentation, as happy I am with the product. I now run five switches and the alarm system with Vera 3. A camera is next. Both my children have been infected and installed Vera in their houses, including doorlocks and thermostats. My grandsons wanted dimmers installed in their rooms as Christmas presents.
I agree: "somebody should do something" about the documentation. Why not us? If we can get, let's say, five volunteers together, we can start it as a "crowd based" documentation. I am willing to coordinate it, and appeal to MCV to support it morally and with advice and maybe, supervision.
I am a retired professor with ample didactic and writing experience.

Offline bucko

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 08:43:42 pm »
There you go papaworz!

Now lets see if MCV will step up to the plate...............
Vera 3, 40+ Fibaro relays & dimmers, IPUX cams, Elk M1 Gold, M1XEP, M1SP, XVOR, M1RB, Elk124, Monoprice HDMI matrix & 6 zone amp, Denon AVR, Panasonic A8000, BI DV,On Controls

Offline Gklmdawson

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 03:06:52 pm »
+1

Offline RLKinMD

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 05:25:31 pm »
I agree with bucko. The documentation is haphazard, scant, and all over the place, especially for newcomers. The forum, like most forums, requires hours of reading to find one helpful piece of info. It should not be this time consuming to set up a simple scene with one controlled device. I have several degrees in EE, but I have found the UI5 interface to be not very intuitive.
VeraPlus, GE45604 OutdorSwitch, GE45609 switches, Intermtc HA01C receptacles, Evrsprng ST812 FloodDetect & ST814 Temp-HumiditySensor, Aeon SmartSwitch 2ndEd., Foscam FI9821W V2. & FI9805W(2), Schlage BE469WK & NX locks. Apps: PingSensr, Smtp and Push, Nest Tstat & Protcts(3), WebCamDropboxUploader2

Offline oyl

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 03:42:45 am »
It's not just the documentation.

It's the fantastic gap between the marketing and reality of the user experience.

The UI breaks all the rules, leaving the user to find his own way through the maze.  When you see underscores from variable names coming through to the UI, you know you are suffering a competence failure.  And spelling - it's means it is, not belonging to it.

This technology does not work yet.

Offline akbooer

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 10:54:02 am »
+1

and another +1 to @oyl for mentioning the infuriating "it's" / "its" issue
(mind you, this is not the only place this sin is perpetrated.)

I do like the hardware and the concept, though, and Lua for that matter. 

I think there needs to be some serious thinking about what Vera needs to offer in the way of a UI.  Clearly something much more functional for adding scenes /events / triggers.  But does it need to provide a good operational interface for everyday use?  With all the apps around on phones and tablets, I don't think it can, or has to, compete.

My 'favourite' howlers in the interface are:
  • REBOOT - found under Setup / Net and Wi-fi ???
  • Serial Port configuration - found under Apps / Develop Apps ???
  • toggleState - under Automation /New Scene /Advanced / Pick a Device / Please Select !!!

These took me hours to find in the first place.
I'd rather spend the time writing better documentation for others to read.
3x Vera Lite-UI5/Edge-UI7, 25x Fibaro, 23x TKB, 9x MiniMote, 2x NorthQ Power, 2x Netatmo, 1x Foscam FI9831P, 9x Philips Hue,
Razberry, MySensors Arduino, HomeWave, AltUI, AltHue, DataYours, Grafana, openLuup, ZWay, ZeroBrane Studio.

Offline afulki

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2013, 07:53:59 pm »
Totally agree.

I had to call tech support to figure out why sunset was in the middle of the day when I set up a schedule. What I had missed was on the setup screen you need to enter your timezone AND your country/state/city for it to know sunset and sunrise times. The UI looks like many others where you fill in one or the other rather than both.

I only installed my Vera 2 days ago, it's almost as frustrating as Homeseer, though support is way better.

My 2 cents :)