David wrote:
> I'm coming to the GIMP as a new user, having tried it a few years ago and 
> then 
> preferred other software; I am returning now because of the features.
> In a spirit of trying to help, may I share a few observations about the 
> online 
> documentation that would make my reading of it easier?
> 1. There is no link off the manual to the GIMP site. I wanted that.
> 2. I'd much prefer a clearer layout of the manual web pages. For example the 
> first page shows just a logo, until I scroll down, and the contents are 
> spread 
> over multiple screens (impossible to get an overview). Images would be better 
> right or left aligned, definitely not inline as at present. Black text on 
> white 
> is clearer than orange on grey. And so on.
This is a matter of taste, but I agree with you in some ways. The main 
problem in my opinion is that it is a lot of work to change the layout. 
Example: By using the gimp-help-custom.css style sheet you may change 
all the classes used in GIMP without doing any harm to the common style 
sheets. I tried black print on a white background. It works quite well, 
but perhaps not so nice as the original layout. More complicated: I made 
the images floating to the right (by adding "float: right" to the class 
"mediaobject"). In a way you are right, but the images overwrote some 
other elements on the side. So I had to change the command a bit. Then 
... etc. Another problem is that not all users use "standard" browsers. 
Not all commands used in the stylesheets shows up the same way an all 
browsers. (Today a minor problem as most browsers follows the 
"standards", but still a problem. 
> 3. Section 1.2 needs to tell me *how* to install the context sensitive help 
> (I 
> installed GIMP as recommended, onto Windows, but no context sensitive or 
> local 
> help is installed.)
Yes. I have got several questions about where to find the help files for 
downloading and how to install them.  Most people finds the online help, 
but not the ftp download and if they find them, how to open them? To the 
average Windows user the ".tar.bz2" is a totally unknown file formate. 
Many unzip programs running in Windows are unable to read this formate. 
It could look a bit inconsistent  to have a receipt on how to install 
help files as you have to install them before you can read the files. 
But all users connected to internet can read the online help.
> I can share further specific points if there is interest
> This is me trying to help, not moan ;) - I've written help for another open 
> source project, and have had around a million hits on those pages.
We needs all the help and new thoughts we can get. You are welcome.
Working on the GIMP manual for some years results in a kind of blindness 
to both the contents and the layout.
You made me think about what does the average GIMP user really needs.
Thank you, David.

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