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  1. #31
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    More thanks for the feedback.

    Not to disappoint, but I cannot write "Everything you ever wanted to know about Zen Cart." It would be too massive a project.

    Every topic mentioned above is worthy of detailed instruction. Someone else will have to handle most of them however. I need to focus on helping brand new Zen users deal with the most critical needs in customizing their cart.

    Also, simpler and clearer instructions will require more reading not less. No article or tutorial can substitute for hard work, study and the editing process on the users part. There is no EASY explanation for Zen Cart.

    My plan is to write, edit and gather materials that better adsress the issues that new Zen users have the most trouble understanding and implementing.

    As you see posts by new users ask them to give feedback in this thread.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Quote Originally Posted by Sermonzone
    I cannot write "Everything you ever wanted to know about Zen Cart." It would be too massive a project...I need to focus on helping brand new Zen users deal with the most critical needs in customizing their cart...My plan is to write, edit and gather materials that better adsress the issues that new Zen users have the most trouble understanding and implementing.
    Question. What criteria to apply to decide "the most critical needs in customizing their cart" and delimit "the issues that new Zen users have the most trouble understanding and implementing"?

    This is a rhetorical question, meaning you certainly will want to narrow down (define) your newbie criteria BEFORE emabarking on your doc project. Authoring the original docs is only half the battle, maintaining/updating the docs are the other half. Recommend writing in general terms, so that your docs will not require updating for every minor Zen Cart release and will not be a chore to maintain. Otherwise your docs could become quickly dated (e.g. contain incorrect info) and irrelevant.

    Consider avoiding hard URL links to forum threads. As discovered, with the recent forum migration, URL's to quality stickies and other informative threads can become useless at a moments notice (e.g. just see all the dead URL's now lurking in the archived forums). Just my $0.02.

    Documenting can be a thankless infinite task, if you let it be such.

    I wish you good luck with your newbie doc project!

    Woody

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Woody,

    My hope was to have new users tell us what they had trouble with. If new Zenners will list their biggest problems we could update the materials that answer those problems.

    We are on the same page about simplicity and keeping docs current. I will PM a list of the first rough draft of questions.

    TO NEW ZEN USERS - please list the issues you are having the most trouble with. If it repeats something posted earlier, that will tell us how important the topic is and make sure we include it in the revised docs.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Quote Originally Posted by Sermonzone
    My hope was to have new users tell us what they had trouble with. If new Zenners will list their biggest problems we could update the materials that answer those problems.
    They aleady have. The questions are posted in the forums ;-)

    We are on the same page about simplicity and keeping docs current. I will PM a list of the first rough draft of questions.
    As I just stated many of the "questions" have already been answered in the forums. Especially in the forum archives. Many of the draft questions you PM'd me are quite broad. Books have been written on some the topic ;-) I recommend narrowing the scope. And why not post the list of questions to this thread than PM? Recommend searching the forums on Ajeh, Kim, DrByte, and Wilt (Zen Cart Devs who regularly post to the forums) and other community folks who have been around for awhile (Merlin, etc). You will find clear answers to many questions (or subset of your questions). Then if answers need fleshed out and/or questions remain then do ask around ;-)

    Good luck.

    Woody

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Quote Originally Posted by Sermonzone
    Woody,

    My hope was to have new users tell us what they had trouble with. If new Zenners will list their biggest problems we could update the materials that answer those problems.

    We are on the same page about simplicity and keeping docs current. I will PM a list of the first rough draft of questions.

    TO NEW ZEN USERS - please list the issues you are having the most trouble with. If it repeats something posted earlier, that will tell us how important the topic is and make sure we include it in the revised docs.
    In keeping with the spirit of this thread, I would like to repeat what I (and others) have stated, not only in earlier posts to this thread, but in many other threads as well.

    CSS, CSS, CSS!

    With Zen moving away from tables, and becomming more and more CSS oriented, nothing would help New Zenners more than a thourough and well commented explanation of ZenCart's CSS system.

    I've studied many different online css sources and found that there is no "set" standard for css verbage. As long as the verbage in the css file and php(or html) files match, it works. By this I mean that Zen's CSS language is not the same as the CSS language you might find in other online resources. That can be VERY confusing to newbies.

    So, by creating a tutorial based on ZenCart's Default Template CSS that not only tells, but shows where the classes, id's, div, etc. are, what they do and how to modify or customize them, would go a long LONG way to making life easier for us newbies (probaly some oldtimers too).

    The other thing would be the override system (though this is well explained in the faq's)
    [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"]I Think, Therefore I Zen. I Zen, Therefore, I AM![/FONT]
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  6. #36
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Okay... in the interest of narrowing things down. Here are the two TOP problems/frustrations I encounter as a zen newbie



    1) the physical structure of zen (what talks to what and where the heck does it live) A basic actual real outline saved as a .jpg or .gif or whatever the heck. Like a something you can actually look at and hold in your little hand. An expanded simplified tree. Catch my drift?

    2) CSS layout. I mean: take a COMPLETE stylesheet. empty it so that the framework the (style/div/wrapper/thingys) is still there but the actual end part (width 100% etc. etc.) isn't and replace with color coded comments (BTW make comments all the SAME color, so we know exactly whats a comment) for EACH thingy... saying like "this is your sidebox" or "this is your actual thingy that makes your product appear" or whatever.

    Everything I listed numerically above really are problems, but these TWO are the biggest. (for me anyways, I don't know for everyone else but I'm willing to bet most of us)


    Both of these things can be made into downloadable tiny files you can print and tape to your desk/wall/pegboard/forehead whatever. You can make notes; you trace it with your finger if neccessary to figure out where that special little thingy lives that controls the other wonderful whatchamacallit.

    Just ideas. I don't know if the Zen tree would be something doable. But honestly once a newbie had these two tools then they could really get a leg up on being much much more self sufficient. Combine this kinda thing with all the definitions/docs/and forum posts and they/we can find what we need, know where it goes, and know where on the CSS thing to look and change something. Then we can learn more from there and start to become proficient.
    [FONT="Palatino Linotype"]The ART of Zen ; man I wish I was an ARTIST!~![/FONT]



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  7. #37
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Quote Originally Posted by ladysaat
    [B]1) the physical structure of zen (what talks to what and where the heck does it live) A basic actual real outline saved as a .jpg or .gif or whatever the heck. Like a something you can actually look at and hold in your little hand. An expanded simplified tree. Catch my drift?
    Just an analogy - If you need to change a flat tire, do you really need to know how the entire car was built, and where all the parts are located OR do you just need to know that you have to jack the car up, remove the lug nuts, pull the flat tire off and replace it with the spare and replace the lug nuts.?

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know


    Just playing devil's advocate a little bit here....

    How do we get to the spare? Under the car or in the trunk.

    If in the trunk, do we push a button in the glove box, on the remote, or have to use a key.

    If underneath, do we have to crank it down?

    If we have to crank it down...

    Okay, I'll quit. And, yes, I agree that those things would be found in a basic manual IF someone knew what to look under in the index. Got a manual with my cell phone but even the Sprint reps can not tell me how to use the speaker phone feature!
    Did you read the posting tips?!?

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Every read the car manual?

    Yeps ... got AAA too ...
    Linda McGrath
    If you have to think ... you haven't been zenned ...

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  10. #40
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Just saying there are times when you need an Illustrated Parts Breakdown.
    Did you read the posting tips?!?

 

 
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