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www.undertowsoftware.com • View topic - MapPro80 Documentation

MapPro80 Documentation

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MapPro80 Documentation

Postby ROstmeyer » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:36 am

I am finding that the documentation is not always correctly describing the functionality of the program. In particular, when it comes to arguments being passed in the various functions and the results that one should expect following a function call. Many times, I find myself having to determine those things by trial and error which is very time consuming. Is anyone else encountering the same problems? I wonder if there is updated documentation somewhere on-line.
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Re: MapPro80 Documentation

Postby Gyrotech » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:48 am

ROstmeyer wrote:I am finding that the documentation is not always correctly describing the functionality of the program. In particular, when it comes to arguments being passed in the various functions and the results that one should expect following a function call. Many times, I find myself having to determine those things by trial and error which is very time consuming. Is anyone else encountering the same problems? I wonder if there is updated documentation somewhere on-line.

Well, good software documentation is an ever vanishing act :-( One of the problems is that software, in general, can be modified very quickly to meet new user demands, correct a problem, etc. and documentation doesn't always keep up with such changes. Add that to the fact that in a 400 page manual there are bound to be some mistakes anyway , and sometimes we are left pulling our hair trying to figure things out ;-)

I've had similar problems in the past, with Mappro71 and Mappro80 and after driving myself crazy trying to figure them out, I broke down and contacted Undertow, who provided me with the answers right away and I pencilled them into the manual. Of course, not being any better at documentation myself, I din't jot down *all* the updates they gave me :-( But, I do have some and I'll list them here.

1. They have an example that says using the FindCityFirst("Lee,IL") will return a whole bunch of cities in Illinois that start with "Lee". Well, that's not the case. It only returns a single city, "Lee, IL". To get the results they are describing, you have to use a wildcard character, i.e., FindCityFirst("Lee*,IL").

2. The ExecClosest() function is documented as requiring no argument. My handwritten notes in the manual tell me that is incorrect. They told me, soon after the initial release of the SDK, based on user feedback they changed a lot of the functions that open search dialogs and present users with lists of results to take a string argument that returns the item that the user selected from the list. So, it's ExecClosest(ref MyString); They also gave me some other functions that were modified the same way, and I have some of them written down; execPlace, execLonLat. I don't know if there were others, but if you have any questions, fire off an email to them and I'm sure they'll let you know. They are pretty good about that.

3. FindStateAtPoint(x,y) returns the state abbreviation AND the full name of the state AND the state number, not just the abbreviation.

BTW, they also have a PDF with updates to the user manual in the public folder on their web site
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Re: MapPro80 Documentation

Postby ROstmeyer » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:15 pm

Thanks! I did go to their public folder and downloaded the addenda to the docs and was able to answer most pf my questions. You seem to be very knowledgeable of this SDK, so I may be asking you more questions here, as we go along. Hope you don't mind.
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Re: MapPro80 Documentation

Postby artmart » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:30 pm

Please allow me to provide this advice...

When you have a problem ALWAYS:

1. Check that you have the latest updates for the product

2. Check that you have the latest documentation for the product

3. Check that all the other products used with this one have all its latest versions - system, OS, utilities, hardware, yada, yada, yada.

THEN call, ask, or email for help. These will be the VERY first things the person you contact will ask you to do and check anyway. We live in a dynamic world and if you live in a static world you're gonna be having trouble all the time. Sometimes it's a product problem, but many times it's something we are doing wrong or may have already been addressed.
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Re: MapPro80 Documentation

Postby ROstmeyer » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:24 pm

Artmart, you are technically correct, but sometimes, asking a simple (or what may appear to some as a stupid) question, can elicit a response from an experienced user that can eliminate hours of searching on the web and other sources. That's the beauty of this "electronically connected" culture - efficient use of time. Otherwise, we can all go back to thumbing through stacks of manuals and coming up with our own answer, hours or days later. Oh, yeah, we'd know the subject matter much better, but we'd never get anything done. Nowadays, immediacy is the key word :-)
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Re: MapPro80 Documentation

Postby Kevin_T » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:07 pm

ROstmeyer wrote: Nowadays, immediacy is the key word :-)

You mean instant gratification, don't you? :-)

Seriously, though. What Art was saying is not that you shouldn't ask questions, but that sometimes, reviewing the info and source you already have can actually save you time. At least, I think that's what he was saying.

BTW, there is no such thing as a stupid question ;-)
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Re: MapPro80 Documentation

Postby artmart » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:27 pm

that's what I was trying to say Kevin. I just want to make sure we don't have people bugging someone else first instead of trying to figure it out.

However, I do find the bigger the documentation, the less likely I am to read it.... :?
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