May 3, 2010

The Hugly side of CS5?

Sebastien Perier has a multifaceted critique of the Help system for After Effects CS5 in The Hugly side of CS5. He may have been able to go further (eg, offline systems) in what he calls hugly, but in fairness Help gained breadcrumb navigation though lost the Table of Contents -- at the cost of the clarity and convenience.

Since search results sometimes show results from other Adobe products, one might get more direct results using the PDF version, which can get dated if you don't download the monthly revision. The inclination for many people will just be straight Google. After Effects Help content has been making substantial improvements, and changes in access won't change that much. [edited -ry]

Apparently Help has at least two heads, one container and one content. Your guide to AE content is still Todd Kopriva and his blog AE region of interest. One aspect of the container is the Community Help Client, an AIR-based Help viewer which has its own forum where you can give feedback to the powers that be on your ideas for containing the information explosion.


Todd Kopriva said...

"Since search results are now polluted by results from other Adobe products..."

I'd like more detail about this. Nothing has changed about the search between CS4 and CS5.

For example, this unconstrained Community Help search gives results from many websites, just like in CS4. But this constrained search just searches After Effects CS5 Help. For the latter, you just have to have the "This Help System Only" / "This Reference Only" checkbox checked.

Are your bad searches happening in the Community Help Client or from Help on the Web? The searches that I provide above are examples of searches done through Help on the Web. If you're only seeing the problems when searching through the Community Help Client, please report the issue through the CHC forum that you linked to.

Rich said...

Some search results show things from Creative Suite 5 Help even with "This reference only" checked.

I remember getting results from InDesign and Flash somehow too, but don't keep records of my searches. Admittedly I may form opinions from too small a sample or my own mistakes. I also relied on Sebastien's post, and didn't see comments there.

Todd Kopriva said...

Ahhhh! Regarding the "Creative Suite 5" results: The Bridge, Adobe Media Encoder, and related pages for shared components are included in the After Effects results. That was true for CS4, too, but we're just doing a better job of labeling these "shared" components.

For example, this search pulls up some Adobe Media Encoder pages, but that's because AME is considered part of After Effects.