November 12, 2012
For a while now it has been obvious that Grasshopper is badly in need of a decent help file. Several documents exist written by various people that function as introductions or textbooks and of course the public forum is generally quite good at answering basic questions within a couple of hours. This is not however sufficient. A proper off-line help file that can be easily searched and cross-referenced is as important a feature of an application as a good user-interface. This help file would ideally contain general as well as specific information, i.e. it needs to talk about what specific components do as well as underlying theories and concepts and it will also need an extensive glossary. I feel I’m the wrong person to write this help file though, for two reasons:
- I could be writing code instead of documentation. There’s a lot to be done and I really don’t want to retard development by months -if not years- by committing myself to this parallel project.
- It is difficult for me to empathise with those who would need the help file the most. Of all living creatures on this planet I know the most about Grasshopper, but that doesn’t mean I’m therefore the most suitable to explain it. I easily over-estimate prior knowledge and I too often use jargon.
Enter Kaitlin. Linguistics major, Linux head, professional proof-reader and Rhino+Grasshopper newbie. She has agreed to take on the gargantuan (and probably never ending) task of writing the Grasshopper user documentation. We’re going to develop a brand new help system together (more about that later) which she will then gradually populate with high quality content.