Friday, January 23, 2009

Notes R8.5 Help: User-Hostile by design?

Is it just me or is the new eclipse-based R8.5 Help system user-hostile by design? I needed to check the syntax of the 'or' operator in a Hide-When formula so I opened R8.5 Help and clicked on 'Index'.
  • Typing in 'or' gave no results;
  • Typing in 'Formula' bought up two entries - 'adding to background' and 'wallpapering table cells';
  • Typing in 'Hide-When' gave four results which I can't list here because you can't copy and paste from the Help screen and I didn't feel like typing out the results (but take my word for it - they were useless).
At that point I thought to check whether I was actually in Designer Help so I used Alt-Enter to open the Properties Box but unfortunately the new Properties Tab doesn't tell you which database you are looking at. Using the 'Search' feature of Help brings 72 results for Hide-When... none of which seem to cover the way to construct formulae.

Eventually I opened up the R8 Designer Help file on my server and found the answer there in less than a minute.

Bring back the old Notes Help system... please


Erik Brooks said...

Agreed. Eclipse help was 1 step-back.

My #1 use of help is exactly what you said: Click "Index" and start typing. If *that* fails, click "Search".

René said...


Got the same "problem". Try this work-around (worked for me very well):

- click on "Default" (right side of "Search scope")
- click on "Edit" (to edit the search scope)
- click on "Apply" and then on OK
- click on "Ok"

Now try a simple search like "formula hide-when"...