a idea to create public tutorial/problem documents to new users

Jun 10, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Dear guys,

I have used Dotspatial as library for my project for a few months. During this time, the tutorials from Documentation help me a lot and it provide me first insight into Dotspatial. However, sometimes I am really new in programming and I found I cannot understand or study only from tutorial to my project. Some problem I cannot sovlved out by myself and so I have to ask your guys in this discussion forum.  It is a very struggling process to do so due to two aspects, one is tutorial is very limited and it only provide basic and common manipulation to users. The second is that different people do different things, and they have different experence in Projection, Data, Topology, Positioning, whatever etc. We have to wait until someone in this aspect to give indications or suggestions, which is not productive or efficient.

I therefore have a idea. Could we make a public tutorial/problem documents. The people who familar dotspatial can roughly make a general problem/solution structure(probably anyone have other idea) for this documents, such as FeatureSet problem, positioning problem or other etc, and and guy help to categoried the content. Then hope the document are put on the web everybody can download and fill in their contents, including their problems and problem solutions that have been done, or done by help by other people. Then they upload this file on web agagion. If some people cannot find their need in basic tutorial, he maybe can reference similar problem solution in this public tutorial/problem documents, like a open-source tutorial/problem documents. If this public document can be updated day by day, it really saved a lot of time for developed to explain more fundamentals or actually solutions who have been done. 

I am looking forward to hear the ideas from all your guys to design this public tutorial documents. I am volunteer to do some of the work for us.

Regards

 

Jun 10, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I am also new to Dotspatial and although I am not new to programming, taking in some of the new concepts introduced by DotSpatial can be daunting.

I fully support the suggestion put forward by Isxhy as newcommers to DotSpatial have two things that the need to confront:

1. Learning what functionality exists and how to use it
2. Quite often learning about GIS systems and therminology

The example material/tutorials are very limited as expessed in the previous post. Also in many cases the on-line forum/issue tickets do contain relevant information but its is difficult to understand since there does not exist the necessary background about DotSpatial and GIS unless you are already conversant with these topics. Also the curent help is based on an SDK approach - menaing it is a reference rather than a help to using the product for beginers. In fact the MapWindowGIS reference manual is miles ahead with some very good examples in both C# and VB.net

One of the most frustrating things I findwhen trying to use a new tool is not being able to create some basic working functionality even after slugging at it for aa few days. In many cases I suspect most people would just give up and turn to some different tool that is better documented.

I realise that this is an opesource community project and the gurus are busy helping us through development of new functionality (which is more exciting than writing help documentation). However I am sure that if 10% of the community where to post a "How To" entry in the proposed  public tutorial/problem documents this would make life for newcommers som much easier and the taken of this excellent tool would improve.

Just my 2 cents worth

Roger

Developer
Jun 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Shade1974 (Ted) was most helpful to me when I was spinning up on DotSpatial.  Ted in my opinion is the guru's guru, and was very good to provide answers to specific questions as well as provide background and additional information to aid in gaining a deeper understanding of DotSpatial.  Unfortunately, he has not been able to be involved lately, so I definitely understand the frustrations of new folks.  I have not yet reached guru status, but maybe a mini guru in some of the areas that I have used extensively.  I try to post answers to the forum when I feel like I have a command of the subject, but am hesitant to otherwise post answers for fear of spreading disinformation.  As someone noted, most of the users and programmers in DotSpatial have jobs or other commitments that take precedence.  So, to stop rambling....  I doubt that many of us are going to be able to contribute much to a tutorial.  I think the Discussion forums are still the best bet.  When I need information, I usually search the Dot Spatial discussions first thing using any key words that I think may apply.  Often, you can see a code snippet that helps.  Given human nature, I think people are more likely to contribute to a specific question in the forum (that might take 10 minutes) than they are to contribute to a tutorial document (which could take hours).  Although not used as much, there is a google group for DotSpatial that you might also want to search.  It is at http://groups.google.com/group/dotspatial-dev

Another aid is the example executables (e.g. DemoMap.exe).  I often run DemoMap application and just explore the user interface to see if there is functionality SIMILAR to what I want to do.  Then I set some breaks in the debugger to see where that functionality exists and just dive in and start learning.  This is my first in-depth experience with Open Source, so I don't know if all Open Source projects are like this.  But I have learned to dig around in there to find what I need or something similar and then when I get close, try to post a very SPECIFIC question to the forum and maybe someone is more likely to jump on it and provide an answer.

I doubt any of this rambling is what you want to hear, but is my $.02

Kyle

 

Jun 10, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Hi Kellison,

thanks for your input on the posts here and I am completely aware that this forum is just a small drop in people'stime and commitment. Just to calrify my remarks on a tutorial document, I agree that most would not have the time to spend hours on a complete document.  This is why w suggested thread type entries like -

  • How to create a point,
  • how to add an image to apoint,
  • how to move a point location

A user would only need to submit one "how to" which takes the time to respond to a request on the forum. IF most users add one then there would be a 100 in no time.

But to take a case in point, I have already found many references to DemoGPS.exe but cannot find the exe nor the source code for it (which is really what I want because it should contain a lot of useful code that can be used to understand the use of DotSpatial).

So a direct question: where can I download it from?

Roger

Coordinator
Jun 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM

This is a fine idea. Let's use the "Tutorials" page to do this. Please go to that page and edit it and add some ideas for tutorials that you need. Then others can try to fill in the solutions. 

Jun 10, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Dear guys,

Anything we talked or discussed are all aiming to improve DotSpatial and this forum better, shouldn’t we?

Let us add the first such kind of open-source document.

But first is how do I log on and edit the Tutorials page or upload my document on it?

And provide a solution for Roger:

If you open the Home page of Dotspatial, you could see the menu, such as Download, Documentation, Discussion, if you open the Source Code menu, you would find on the right of page there is source code download button. My approach is to download all source code of Dotspatial, it contains of sourcecode of DemoMap and DemoGPS within it. It indeed quite useful and good luck.

If you could, could we cooperate with each other to build this public tutorial documents? Such as trying to collect the questions or organise the contents of answers from gurus? Many thanks. .


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Developer
Jun 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Roger,

I usually work with it from Mercurial, but just to be sure I downloaded the source code via the download link on the Source Code page.  The Studio solution includes an Examples folder.  The DemoMap and DemoGPS projects are in there.  I built the solution, set DemoMap as my Startup project and hit the debug button and it fired right up.  I haven't experimented with DemoGPS.

Kyle

Developer
Jun 10, 2011 at 6:26 PM
May I suggest Nuget approach?

This would mean the people don't have to pull down the entire
repository, but only the libraries.

Then Sample Projects could also be created.
http://nuget.org/List/Search?packageType=Packages&searchCategory=All+Categories&searchTerm=sample&sortOrder=package-created&pageSize=10

Ignored discussion:
http://dotspatial.codeplex.com/discussions/260677

On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 10:22 AM, kellison <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:
> From: kellison
>
> Roger,
>
> I usually work with it from Mercurial, but just to be sure I downloaded the
> source code via the download link on the Source Code page.  The Studio
> solution includes an Examples folder.  The DemoMap and DemoGPS projects are
> in there.  I built the solution, set DemoMap as my Startup project and hit
> the debug button and it fired right up.  I haven't experimented with
> DemoGPS.
>
> Kyle
>
> Read the full discussion online.
>
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Jun 10, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Hi All,

thanks for the feedback.

Isxhy - thanks for the pointer to where I can download DemoGPS and DemoMap - would never have thought that I needed to download the whole source to get the demos !

Kyle - downloaded source and correct - got the sample to work first time - only there is some strange behaviour with the toolstrip  buttons - I must be doing something wrong but will ask on a separate thread to leave this thread in-topic.

Danames - same question as Isxhy - how do we edit the Tutorial page to put in suggested topics?

Roger

Coordinator
Jun 10, 2011 at 7:35 PM

I have to add you guys to the project as team members with editor priveledges. I will do so. Thanks for your enthusiasm and willingness to help make this project better!

- Dan
--------
Daniel P. Ames Ph.D.
Idaho State University Dept. of Geosciences
dan.ames@isu.edu
--------
Sent from my Droid

On Jun 10, 2011 11:41 AM, "arrow01" <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:
> From: arrow01
>
> Hi All,thanks for the feedback.Isxhy - thanks for the pointer to where I can download DemoGPS and DemoMap - would never have thought that I needed to download the whole source to get the demos !Kyle - downloaded source and correct - got the sample to work first time - only there is some strange behaviour with the toolstrip buttons - I must be doing something wrong but will ask on a separate thread to leave this thread in-topic.Danames - same question as Isxhy - how do we edit the Tutorial page to put in suggested topics?Roger
>
>
Jun 10, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Thanks Dan - one should help if one wants to be helped. So I hope our little bit can helps to expand the DotSpatial community.

Roger

Developer
Jun 10, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Regarding downloading the entire source tree to get the examples... I think in the end you may want the source anyway so you can step through it in the debugger and see what it is doing underneath the covers.

Kyle

Coordinator
Jun 11, 2011 at 6:26 AM

ishxy, I just added you as an "Editor" on the project so that you can help edit and improve the tutorials page. Welcome aboard! Thanks, Dan