Documentation for Version 5

Hello Emre

This is an advise from me to your team.

As you move Samba slowly but surely to a commercial product, I will suggest that you take time to produce user guides and materials that can be understood by end users, guides that are not too “techie”. I am not techie but I have succesfully installed and implemented many POS solutions from QuickBooks POS to more advanced ones.

But while I truely like Samba, doing even basic things in it requires so much research and the documnetations available assumes that the reader knows some form of scripting or the other.

Believe me, this should not be so.

Take the new features in V5 for instance, trust me it would be better for your team to write an easy to read page stating that this and this are the new features of V5. The Long technical treatise you published is not appropriate

I will not teach you how to run your business but as a faithful user for over 2 years…you should listen to me/us.

Congratulations on the release of V5, we will try and take out the time to learn all the new features…it will be nice if you make it easier for us.

Regards

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I think we should clear up some confusion on this. I think many people are caught up on the Price and also wrongly think SambaPOS is not a business. SambaPOS is a business and obviously Emre and his Partner want it to grow and they want to be able to sustain it with resources. He could easily charge $1000 a year for it or even $100 / month and that would give him resources to create Top Class support and hire many people to write the best documentation.

He has stated many times that SambaPOS will remain the best value and provide the best solution for your business. Profit is not his priority. If we as the community expect to have the same level of support and elaborate very pretty documentation then that takes resources which means it takes money.

Obviously he is taking everything into consideration so we ask everyone to please understand how this works and please be patient as we make steps to improve the community this includes improving documentation.

Bottom line is you must understand how limited resources are with a project like this. Emre is and will always consider your thoughts and the communities thoughts. He will weigh his resources and he will deliver what is the best for the community with his resources available.

Obviously community wants more from SambaPOS and more means it will cost more resources to make it possible this was partly why there is a small fee. The more demands and the more community wants or expects from SambaPOS the more resources it will take. Emre would keep it free if he could but right now the resources required to deliver what community needs can not be done for free. Additionally increased needs by community will put more pressure on him and his partners as they try to meet demand and balance resources.

Please be patient we as the community can help him help you by contributing to the project with Time, Ideas, Help, and even Donations.

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Hi Kendash

I dont understand your point, I am not confused, neither do I assume that SambaPOS is not a business. I knew it was a business even before the issue of payment for modules and V5 came up.

What I am asking you guys to do is to treat it like a proper business. The fact that Emre chooses to charge a low price is commendable …but it does not mean it should not be treated as a proper business.

My point is that a proper business (like you say it is) will produce an easy to use guide to make the product more accessable to the general public.

Thats basic business sense.

Absolutely no confusion

I hope you can read my entire post and understand why this requires resources? Emre will always try to do what is best for community including making it easier to use. Just dont expect it to be overnight. The more community helps the faster it can happen.

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@olamide Let me start over I was not trying to contradict you nor was I saying your request was not important. It is important and its something we should strive for furthermore it is something that is planned to be worked on. It was more important to get the release out so the community can enjoy the efforts. It takes a considerable amount of time to write documentation. We are working on it and it will happen but please be patient.

I also want it to stay as affordable as possible and I also want it to have more features to help my business be successful. I realize it takes a lot of resources and I understand Emre may not have all the resources to accomplish everything as fast as people expect. So I take a very large amount of my personal time to donate to help this project.

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We were adding features at breakneck pace. Emre would not have been able to release as fast as he did if we had spent the time to document it it properly so we tried very hard to keep up, QMcKay did most of the work and I helped as well to keep up with changes for Emre so he could just keep developing. In the future it should be a lot more organized.

To be honest 70% of that features page came from our private staff discussion and we had to completely reformat it to make it as organized as it is now. It was a lot of work. We have to realise that everytime we recommend Emre add more professional aspects to it like requesting him provide well written professional release notes it means thats more resources he will have to plan out. It could mean more money to hire someone to help him or it means slower development time.

I would prefer development not slow down and I think most of you would too. I dedicate as much of my free time to help him specifically because of this.

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I know this would be very nice, but I’d rather have new features quickly released than a long user guide I’d might make reference to but unlikely I’d read in full. There is probably enough (actually more) content on the forum here than can fit in a user guide.

I know also myself from developing a product, user guide is always thought of last when you’re trying to release quickly, but for a small business with limited resources, launching product is priority.

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Here is the private discussion we had before it went private beta. This covered about 12 versions before it went to private beta.

This is EVERY thread on the forum ranked by # of replies and highlighted was our private test before it went private beta aka the first 12 versions this was a span of just a couple months. This discussion was Emre, QMcKay and me. So as you can see we had a LOT of information to decipher and try to keep up with.

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@kendash Thank you

If I had the skills I will help too, cause I really really belive in the Samba Project, I think its awesome.

I will be supporting by moving all my restaurants to the paid version and donating going forward.

Thank you for understanding my point

Regards

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@kendash I think this topic has been taken over by people talking about documentation. It is not to do with documentation, just a simple list of bullet points for each release that doesn’t take much time at all. Actually the format of the feature compilation topic is actually more detailed than I would consider for release notes and also consider that topic is for 47 releases combined. Release notes would just be a simple list of features, bugs fixed and anything else relevant. And if there is any features need more explanation or screenshots, etc., as it’s on the forum can easily be referenced to other topic.

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You are right @markjw maybe we should moderate it and split it into a new discussion.

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@markjw

sorry for taking over your topic, I just wanted to use it to make a point. Release notes are also quite relevant

Apologies

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We really could use some help with documentation. There is so much to go through and document that if any volunteers wish to assist please let us know. It will get done but community help is very powerful and it would be great to offer Emre some help so he can continue keeping cost low and development time fast.

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Realistically there is a limit to the documentation to the features/options ie actions and their options/perimeters or print templates and the template tags etc
Documentation with instructions of implementing a whole config/feature are best done in tutorial format on forum rather than in ‘official documentation’ as this pushes users to follow the writers method when there are usually many options to achieve.
I was planning to make a start on expanding the wiki but just couldn’t find the time to do it justice and preferred to try and assist in the improvement through new ideas and also do my best to assist on the forum in a support capacity, answering the more basic questions and issues leaving emre and leaders to concentrate on more important things like improvements and complex issues.
A comprehensive action documentation would be good and was what my first intentions were but at the time being relatively new to samba I felt I didn’t have the experience to do it in enough detail.

OK. Think SambaPOS like a Lego Mindstorms set.

What features do we have? The small piece, the big piece, the thin large green piece… A new released piece opens a lot of new options for pro builders because they can imagine how to use that. However for new people a single piece itself does not have a lot meaning. That’s why it is hard to explain Lego idea to new people piece by piece. For example can we document all possible uses of a piece? Something like… “This piece can be a door of a house or wing of an airplane.” I tried that multiple times but that never worked fine.

I believe releasing building instructions is better. Might be more time consuming for a newbie to get what we’re talking about but starting with building something is really better than trying to learn use of everything. That’s why I believe step by step tutorial format is better. Yes it will look like too much for new people but that’s the correct way to go.

About being a commercial product… Umm it is hard to say but I still don’t feel like I’m doing something commercial. I agree with @Jesse. I’m sure a business minded person can convert SambaPOS to a great money making product but that never excites my silly mind as it requires to ignore community and just focus on venues who pays $5K~$10K per year. I just want to build what we’re discussing here. I want to build it with people who actually uses SambaPOS. Freely, without thinking how profitable x feature will be… It may sound like a bad idea for most people but I believe I’m not wrong because we already did great job until now. We can do even better.

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Fantastic comparison :smile: and a great explanation showing how hard documentation is to do in a way people are used to.
This is where samba is so different from other software in the market, where they are locked down and fixed in config manual writes itself as option A means B will happen but the possible combinations and variances with samba prevent this type of manual/documentation, but this is where the power comes in samba with ability to tween and customise almost everything to suite your needs.
Likewise the greatest respect to you emre as this undoubtably makes programming 100x more complex with having to try and account for all these possibilities etc creating a system to accommodate this flexibility.

Although I do think the breakdown of options is a good place to start as even as my experience grows I often see fields/options which I just don’t understand and many are subtle and very hard to ‘trial and error’ it.

Documentation might not be the right word but think would be very valuable reference guide to samba users new and old to have a listing of actions with breakdown of the options/fields and some examples of uses.

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You know what’s actually cool is that Emre doesn’t always account for everything. Often things are discovered that he never imagined. That is what I think is truly amazing.

The community are developers too. Emre programs it so its possible.

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This is exactly what I’m just feeling right now… I never expected what @RickH building atm.

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I didn’t even touch on that.
Although coding a software with structure allowing some of the ‘unintended’ configs without things going haywire is what impresses me.
Obviously the enginuity of those setups is equally impressive :slight_smile:

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This is half technical half social. Building stuff with people changes everything. Everything people talk here (seriously everything) helps a lot.

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