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Where is the documentation for command line, gui?


Elrondolio
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The Flirc has some great features and *can* be relatively easy to use.  However, without documentation of any kind, I must start actively recommending fellow hardware users in various hardware forums I participate in to avoid purchasing the Flirc (I have been actively pushing the Flirc for various devices for over a year up to this point).  I can't understand how anyone can release hardware of this potentially advanced nature without any documentation whatsoever.  Even as a one man shop, documentation should be of the highest priority in any hardware and software released for public consumption.

 

Take the command line utility flirc_util.exe.  It seems to be very powerful and is often given as the cryptic answer for various issues all over this forum.  Cryptic is the key: without documentation, how is anyone supposed to guess at its actual workings?  A perfect example is the record_api fucntion..  I've seen 10's of threads asking how to record the "menu" key for various hardware.  The answer is often given as use flirc_util's record_api fuction.  Wonderful that the developer has created such a utility that can solve those kinds of issues, but without documentation it is limited to his own use and a cabal of a few other advanced users only.

 

I'm not trying to bash the Flirc in any way...  I see it as a wonderful piece of hardware with great potential and easy use for limited applications.  I am a realist, however, and the conclusion of that realism is: without documentation the Flirc is more of a potentially frustrating curiosity than an actual tool for many people.

 

Please document both the GUI and, most important, the command line utility for those that actually need to go beyond an extremely simple setup.

 

Thank you.

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I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you so much. I'll do better with the documentation, but I really have to say in defense, it's not quite as awful of a picture as you're painting. It really makes me sound like a total failure and the product should never be recommended again. The advanced settings are very poorly documented, you're absolutely right. But they were never really intended for use and have been added to compensate for very small variations that don't fit the norm. That's not an excuse, it's my fault, and I'll fix it.

 

record_api is a super advanced feature, and it's just going to go beyond someone who isn't comfortable reading the IEEE USB HID spec.I have no intentions of documenting that anymore than the help section of flirc_util:

 

usage:

  record_api 'arg1 arg2'   arg1 is key-modifier 

                           arg2 is HID key

example:

  flirc record_api 136 4   '136' represents right cmd + left cmd

                           '4' represents 'a' in HID

 

Key modifiers are defined in the IEEE HID Spec as follows:

LEFT  CONTROL          1

LEFT  SHIFT            2

LEFT  ALT              4

LEFT  CMD|WIN          8

RIGHT CONTROL          16

RIGHT SHIFT            32

RIGHT ALT              64

RIGHT CMD|WIN          128

 

For starters to help, I've put together a series of help articles here:

https://flirc.zendesk.com

 

At every opportunity I have, I add an article. Most people just got to the forums or email me, because it's easier than searching. That's not something I can do much about.

 

If you hover over the advanced settings in the GUI, you get a tooltip describing what it is and what it does.

 

Ideally, I'll have some help contents right in the GUI, and it's just a matter of time before it makes it on my list of priorities. I've got a new product launching this Friday, and I'm terribly excited about it: https://twitter.com/flirc/status/535914395650383872

 

But thank you for the criticism, it's not unfounded.

 

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Thank you for your reasoned and accurate reply, Jason.  I want to again make clear that I'm not trying to attack either you or your very useful product.  I find the Flirc to be a wonderful device that fills an absolute need in a lot of hardware situations where other devices are lacking.  In no way do I believe you or your product is a total failure.  Quite to the contrary, you've clearly designed a solid piece of kit that has great software that backs it up... if only it was documented.  The fact that someone must rely on tooltips for even basic documentation and that even short (but useful) help for flirc_util commands must be found directly through flirc_util is the only issue I'm expressing.  I've documented software and written manuals most of my career and I can't imagine that writing a twenty page manual would take more than a weekend.  Documentation has a lifecycle that doesn't need to produce perfection at the start... it continues to improve throughout the life of a product in my experience.

 

I have indeed read through all of the articles you have on your troubleshooting page and find them well written and focused.  I believe you've done very well with that online resource and it is a required and valuable one for any hardware or software product.  I have also found some great information and clearly dedicated support that both you and some passionate users provide on this forum, again a resource that is implemented well and is, I believe, another of those required and valuable tools needed for any hardware or software product.

 

I've had no issue personally figuring out and using record_api as well as a few other of those useful commandline functions once I've dug in a bit.  But I'm not the average user. This product absolutely needs a beginner and intermediate user's basic pdf manual that is easily downloaded right next to the software.  One that steps a neophyte user (that this piece of hardware is mostly focused at) through the concepts of the product, not just its implementation (but that as well, of course).  One that duplicates the help provided in the commandline utility in addition to basic usage guidelines.  Somewhere for someone I recommend this hardware to begin at the first day it arrives in the mail.

 

I very much look forward to recommending the Flirc once again once that documentation lifecycle has begun.  I'll certainly not be steering people *away* from the Flirc, but will focus my active recommendations only on the more advanced users I run across from now on, those who won't be frustrated with some digging as it stands.  In the meantime, I'll very much be enjoying the use of the device in my own home.

 

Thanks again, Jason.  Have a wonderful weekend.

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Thank you for your reasoned and accurate reply, Jason.  I want to again make clear that I'm not trying to attack either you or your very useful product.  I find the Flirc to be a wonderful device that fills an absolute need in a lot of hardware situations where other devices are lacking.  In no way do I believe you or your product is a total failure.  Quite to the contrary, you've clearly designed a solid piece of kit that has great software that backs it up... if only it was documented.  The fact that someone must rely on tooltips for even basic documentation and that even short (but useful) help for flirc_util commands must be found directly through flirc_util is the only issue I'm expressing.  I've documented software and written manuals most of my career and I can't imagine that writing a twenty page manual would take more than a weekend.  Documentation has a lifecycle that doesn't need to produce perfection at the start... it continues to improve throughout the life of a product in my experience.

 

I have indeed read through all of the articles you have on your troubleshooting page and find them well written and focused.  I believe you've done very well with that online resource and it is a required and valuable one for any hardware or software product.  I have also found some great information and clearly dedicated support that both you and some passionate users provide on this forum, again a resource that is implemented well and is, I believe, another of those required and valuable tools needed for any hardware or software product.

 

I've had no issue personally figuring out and using record_api as well as a few other of those useful commandline functions once I've dug in a bit.  But I'm not the average user. This product absolutely needs a beginner and intermediate user's basic pdf manual that is easily downloaded right next to the software.  One that steps a neophyte user (that this piece of hardware is mostly focused at) through the concepts of the product, not just its implementation (but that as well, of course).  One that duplicates the help provided in the commandline utility in addition to basic usage guidelines.  Somewhere for someone I recommend this hardware to begin at the first day it arrives in the mail.

 

I very much look forward to recommending the Flirc once again once that documentation lifecycle has begun.  I'll certainly not be steering people *away* from the Flirc, but will focus my active recommendations only on the more advanced users I run across from now on, those who won't be frustrated with some digging as it stands.  In the meantime, I'll very much be enjoying the use of the device in my own home.

 

Thanks again, Jason.  Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Any interest in helping do documentation for compensation? 

 

:)

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Some of those posts i've written are really getting old too :/

 

This product absolutely needs a beginner and intermediate user's basic pdf manual that is easily downloaded right next to the software.

I like to think thread would make a good basic PDF... though it may need some updating.

 

But I completely agree with what Elrondolio says, the need for easy documentation is still required no matter how easy the product is. it used to be something I tried to do but alas in recent year work got in the way :(

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Some of those posts i've written are really getting old too :/

 

I like to think thread would make a good basic PDF... though it may need some updating.

 

But I completely agree with what Elrondolio says, the need for easy documentation is still required no matter how easy the product is. it used to be something I tried to do but alas in recent year work got in the way :(

CHRIS!!

 

I needed two exclamations because your user name has one.

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Any interest in helping do documentation for compensation? 

 

:)

 

Thank you for the offer, however I'm unable to take on more at this point in my life.  My youngest daughter is in long term treatment for Leukemia and my wife and I are just treading water keeping up with all that entails, on top of work.

 

I wish I could help you out.  I am confident that you'll find the right person or tackle the task yourself and it'll come out well.  My best wishes in the endeavor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

:( :( :(

 

P.S. Jason, I recall reading you had deliberatly left command line ...err... commands out of the GUI. I didn't catch why, but maybe if you put them under and "ADVANCED" tab?

Why the unhappy face? Chris! is actually helping with documentation. Day job is killing me this week. I have time off after this week where I will pick up the pace again. 

 

I don't think the GUI is missing anything the commandline has anymore other than these;

 

ability to delete indexes (will get to this)

Record API  (don't inticipate on putting that in, this was probably what you are referring too. Wayyyy to complicated.)

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The link Chris! posted took me to, "Sorry, we couldn't find that!" and it made me sad is all.

 

Has the thread been removed?

 

Oops. Yeah, it's hidden to everyone but administrators. My fault, I didn't tell Jason (I made the change in the last few days).

I've replaced it with proper documentation in our zendesk:

https://flirc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/200267445-Getting-started-with-Flirc

 

I'm trying to consolidate all our help documents into an easy place to find them and make it a little easier to maintain. So i'm trying to faze out the links to help threads i've made. I've been monitoring the forums for problems - I guess I didn't pick up on that quick enough - sorry!

 

 

 

 

My youngest daughter is in long term treatment for Leukemia and my wife and I are just treading water keeping up with all that entails, on top of work.

Very sorry to hear. I hope they find a treatment she will respond well to.

Thanks to your other post i've started revamping our help section (I wish I had a before and after snapshot).

Here it is: https://flirc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us

 

I'm quite happy with how things are progressing, i'm focusing on the "getting started" section. The ultimate test is going to be getting my mum to program and use a Flirc... I just need to finish some help documents first

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