Author Topic: Documentation update  (Read 13126 times)

Offline bucko

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 08:29:12 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 :)

"Support" is ok with MCV if you submit a ticket to them. But here we sit on the official MCV forum.....all alone. I think it is a rare occurrence that MCV takes a look in here to interact with ANY of the issues, questions, comments that it's customers leave in here. This to me is very strange. SOMEBODY at MCV should be assigned to monitor and interface with it's own website for God's sake. It is like, "OK, we have your $$, so go away and don't bother us."

Thanks to the members here, we can limp along and build nicely on the Vera, while MCV is busy marketing away for more $$$. It is a shame they have low priority to service it's paying customers by at the very least providing a functional user's manual. 
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 mcvflorin

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 05:36:37 am »
Someone from MCV IS monitoring the forum. Up until recently, that was me, but I got assigned to other tasks and now I have only limited time to look over the more technical threads. So now every week there's someone from the Tech Support team assigned to monitor the forum and tell us any interesting things he/she finds, and to notify us about threads that require our immediate attention.

We try our best to improve our documentation and I think we partly succeeded, but there's still a lot of room for improvement.

One thing we don't give on the forum is support. For this there are trouble tickets and phone numbers to Tech Support.

Offline Otje

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 06:41:52 am »
Hi Florin

I must agree to the forum members that visibility from MCV is very low for a long time already.
I noticed your remark that support will be offered through the official Tech support but that is also not working at the moment.

i recently made a call 3 to 4 weeks ago about a device that lost connection (Powerstrip from Greenwave) after an inclusion.
Remote support contacted me, asked for logs and then would analyse.
after 2 weeks i get the same question, can you send me the logs etc etc

obviously nothing happened and I had to return the device with no success....

People are running away from Vera, it started with a member with 2000 postings and contributed a lot of plugins (forgot his name) and I see more of this happening.

The forum also asked for a news section, where MCV can at least keep us informed on where your priorities are and what you are doing. MCV seems to be talking more to the press (CES, CEBIT) then to the users.

it kills me to see this mulltisensor (pir, temp, humi) thread for so long now, where it seems that MCV could release a patch and would make many people the happiest persons on earth.

my last experience with tech support was frustrating, it did not add any value at all.

Most of your development seems to happen at this forum

Please MCV, turn it around and focus on the forum members and your product will excel into 2013!
VERA Plus, VERA 3 Lite , couple of PIR's, several switch units, wall mounted tablet, Sonos integration with TTS, Temperature sensors, Imperihome, Zwave LED bulbs

Offline MackBlanch

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2013, 01:30:53 pm »
I have to agree about the documentation.  It is pretty horrendous.   I also agree that we, the users, can do something about it.  Personally, I?ve registered for an account with the VeraWiki and I plan on recording my projects there--step-by-step directions on different setups that will include instruction on how to hack certain z-wave products to expand their functionality.  If we can get a bunch of people to do this, the community will benefit greatly.  We can start this without MCV involvement.   

I would still like some help from them though.  There are some great applications I would like to help develop on Vera.  When I decided to purchase my Vera3, I thought I would be able to do so without a great deal of struggling because they list ?open architecture? as a feature.  I (maybe unfairly) expected to find API libraries, tools, and documentation that would get me started.  Unfortunately, I have spent more time trying to get my head around the platform than I have developing on it.  Some easy to find documentation would be AWESOME.

Offline svaleb

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2013, 04:52:45 am »
Dear Bucko
I quite agree on your thoughts in your note on the 3. of september last.
I have had vera for about a year, and the few things I put into it worked. My interest grew and I found out it was a jungle. There is a lot of terms I dont even know in my native language and it does not help that you need to look for it in a forum.
A proberbly simple thing: "you just chek your parameters, and change them to your perference".....ok!+?
I did not know what it was all about and I am not sure I do yet, hex or dec and byte...it took time to find the place were it was.
A remark somewere said "thanks for making this available even to "Joe sixpack"", and I still did not understand it.
So maybe I am a dummie but it is very difficult to get further without some proper facts.
You are right lots of documentation is poor, not updated or missing.
An other thing is that you dont always get help in forums. Some times I find a question wich has been there for month and read several times but is not answered. It may bee a simple question but no one is giving the answer. Hi...some one has a problem... it may bee a stupid question, but if you have the answer...give it to him...
There are no stupid questions, but it stupid not to answer. And that includes MCV and other manufacturer.
Your note is very well put.

Regards
          CE


Offline oTi@

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2013, 08:49:04 am »
@svaleb,

Thanks for your note.

An other thing is that you dont always get help in forums. [...]
Do you mean this forum specifically?

There certainly are unanswered questions, but I think that often these may just be very specific questions/situations. Yet you seem to say this happens for 'simple questions' also. That surprises me a bit. It could be that the question has already been answered various times and the answer can readily be found by doing a search. And even then, there's many users here that will answer those questions again.

With the documentation and support from MCV the way it is, I often see positive remarks about the helpfulness, expertise and activity level of the forum members.
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline bucko

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2013, 11:37:06 am »
@svaleb
I appreciate your remarks, and I hope more people like you will chime in with their feeling on this. Maybe MCV will get the hint and become proactive with their responsibility to it's customers.

It's not enough to produce a great product which I think the Vera is. Consumers should not have to be programmers or IT professionals to operate the thing. If it wasen't for the gear head forum members that help and support the Vera, MCV would go by the wayside in short order. MVC seems to take the position that as long as other people are willing to give support and develope some great plug ins, they only need to concentrate on marketing and sales. The latest example being the CES showing of their new Vera.

I have also put up questions in the forum which got ignored, and it is frustrating. But I think either members may not have an answer, or possibly feel it was answered before. Still, without the work members do here, the Vera would be best put to use as a boat anchor.

At the very least, MCV should have a very active rep on it's own forum to respond to issues and inform members of what is going on at MCV with updates and bug fixes. MCV.....please get a grip with your business ethics.
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 svaleb

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2013, 11:57:07 am »
Hi oti@

Yes, I have seen a few, but it happens in evry forum, I am not pointing fingers at this forum.
Maybe I have seen them because I had "stupid" questions myself.
But Bucko is getting at an importent point: It is difficult for the eksperts to write the dokumentation. It is about communication, lots of peaple did not understand Einstein (how shuld they) his thoughts are still not fully understood.
Well, now I am aiming too high, I know, being to filosofic. But it is also needed that peaple says "hi, I dont understand this".
So i think you are doing well.
I just wrote to an other in this forum (he has made ekseptional dokumentation)...I can see it, I can read it...but I dont understand how to use it in practis. So I asked for more detailed eksampels and more time to look at the fast flashing pictures.
Regards
       CE

Hi Bucko
I just got your massage as I was about to send.
I agre and as I say above it is good that you point it out. I think there is a lot of peaple out there who has unansered q's and dont even dare to ask them. We have been neding updates for a long time, and so on.
Regards
        CE


Offline futzle

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2013, 06:53:56 pm »
There certainly are unanswered questions, but I think that often these may just be very specific questions/situations. Yet you seem to say this happens for 'simple questions' also. That surprises me a bit. It could be that the question has already been answered various times and the answer can readily be found by doing a search. And even then, there's many users here that will answer those questions again.

Psychology ahead...

I see a huge amount of the False-consensus effect on this forum (and other forums too).  It is usually characterized by people asking how to do something "simple" and "obvious", though at the same time their question has never been asked on the forum before.  Invariably it isn't "simple", indeed not even "common", and that user is often the only person to have had that thought.

Most of us on this forum are trailblazers.  Users have to accept that they may have to bridge the expertise gap themselves, that there may be no one who has done it before.  In a larger ecosystem, this gap is normally filled by consultants and other paid professionals.  MiOS is still too small for that to be a solution, and I'm not sure that users would tolerate being asked to stump up cash to a third party when they've been led to believe that Vera is a no-pay solution.

The "number of times read" count of a post on the forum is not a good indicator of a question's answerability.  I try to read every post, though I'm certainly not going to know specific information about devices that aren't even sold in my country.  I'll only know that after I've read the post, though, and I'm not going to pollute the topic with "I don't know" posts just to say that.  (Also, I never, ever, reply to a post that the author has "bumped".  It's the forum equivalent of loudly demanding to see the manager.)

I emphasize that I still agree with the sentiment that MCV "should" try to fill that gap by creating some more intermediate-level documentation, keep it up to date and make sure that users can find it.  Will it happen because a bunch of people have begged for it on the forum?  Of course not.

I won't post in this topic again.  I'll spend my volunteer-time trying to answer someone's "simple" question.

Offline akbooer

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 10:33:04 am »
@futzle

Quote
I won't post in this topic again.  I'll spend my volunteer-time trying to answer someone's "simple" question.

...that's not psychology, that's a philosophy! ...and a very good one.

And I, for one, am very glad, that you follow it. Thanks.
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 MackBlanch

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2013, 02:53:36 pm »
We might be best served by identifying and resolving the major issues that keep people from joining and participating in the user community.  This is one of those issues.  How many people and ideas do you see just disappear from the forums because the undertaking before them is too daunting? Too slow? Too ambiguous?  We share an interest with MCV in developing the platform so that there is always a clear, even if not easy, path to implementing Vera in whatever application can be dreamed up.

Whining

At the moment though, reference materials are scattered and esoteric if they even exist.  Even getting a basic and accurate orientation on where to start is more difficult than it needs to be.  There's a decent one for the "G300" (Vera3?) on the MiOS page (http://support.mios.com/) but why is it so hard to find?   ::) 

It's also discouraging that the manual contains a line like this one;

"Here you have various advanced Z-Wave options. Use these options only if you understand what they mean. Most users will not need these options"

If we can't look up their meaning in the manual, then where should we look them up? 



Concluding Thought

A good start to addressing this might be to create a highly visible directory to all the materials available with emphasis on the best ones.  Steps like this shouldn't be too difficult, but they would be a HUGE help.

Offline akbooer

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2013, 06:27:06 pm »
Quote
There's a decent one for the "G300" (Vera3?) on the MiOS page (http://support.mios.com/) but why is it so hard to find?

Wow,  I've NEVER seen that!

+1 for "create a highly visible directory" !!!
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 Da_JoJo

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2013, 11:35:36 am »
hmm i did language translation for the wiki and have develop login to mios site and i didnt even see that.. all i know is that vera light had no separate section and was mixed up with the vera 3 which lead into trouble with the translations. some parts needed hardcoding and so messed up the variables used by the system and plugins.. this is still a serious issue with no reallife solution yet. but since upgrading the system for new devices and functionality is more important, the translation and wiki are 2nd on overfull agenda.
Vera lite (1.5.622), 2x an-158/2, dead usb pl2302 rs-232, 2x greenwave 6 port, 4x Fibaro FGD211 v1.6, FGBS001, few FGS - 221, etc. AuthomationHD 3 for android :-)
Dutch & German translator http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Special:AllPages http://support.micasaverde.com http://domotica-shop.nl

Offline MackBlanch

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2013, 07:50:23 am »
hmm i did language translation for the wiki and have develop login to mios site and i didnt even see that.. all i know is that vera light had no separate section and was mixed up with the vera 3 which lead into trouble with the translations. some parts needed hardcoding and so messed up the variables used by the system and plugins.. this is still a serious issue with no reallife solution yet. but since upgrading the system for new devices and functionality is more important, the translation and wiki are 2nd on overfull agenda.

I just want to thank you for contributing to the documentation! 

You've also provided some valuable feedback.  I usually focus on the Vera3 documentation (that is the device I have), but it is definitely important to properly address the different Vera devices and make sure that any distinctions are clearly stated.  It could be frustrating to a user if to find out they've been reading about the Vera3 when they want to know about their VeraLite.

Offline Da_JoJo

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Re: Documentation update
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2013, 07:29:27 pm »
I just want to thank you for contributing to the documentation! 

You've also provided some valuable feedback.  I usually focus on the Vera3 documentation (that is the device I have), but it is definitely important to properly address the different Vera devices and make sure that any distinctions are clearly stated.  It could be frustrating to a user if to find out they've been reading about the Vera3 when they want to know about their VeraLite.
yes i totally agree. can you imagine writing documentation for vera light, finding out that it doesnt even have its own documentspace. had to make that first and then get the right pictures with it and then come to the conclusion IE9 sucks and swap over to firefox and find out there are way to many tags n stuff in the wiki page.. clearing these out.. setting right attributes.. learn a bit of wiki coding.. men it got totally above my head, got me puzzling how to put the words so everyone would understand what is being spoken about. when i have the time i will try to enhance it a bit more. i noticed others helped out too and in the meanwhile it got more organized on the wiki and docs5. hopefully everyone feels free to add there share and make it more usefull for everyone.
Vera lite (1.5.622), 2x an-158/2, dead usb pl2302 rs-232, 2x greenwave 6 port, 4x Fibaro FGD211 v1.6, FGBS001, few FGS - 221, etc. AuthomationHD 3 for android :-)
Dutch & German translator http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Special:AllPages http://support.micasaverde.com http://domotica-shop.nl