Ignition User Manual updates

We’re launching a new look and feel for the Ignition User Manual next week, on February 15, 2024. This is a project that the IA Docs team has been working hard on for about a year now, and we’re looking forward to hearing your feedback! Here are a few of the features we’re most excited about:

Better signposts to indicate the current version

A more responsive layout that will adapt for mobile devices

2024-02-08_10-38-28

Common resources more prominently featured in the navigation bar

And of course, dark mode

dark-mode

One thing to note is that if you have any bookmarks to specific pages in the manual, those links likely will not work when we launch the new site. The homepage URL (docs.inductiveautomation.com) will remain the same. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

On the user-facing side most of these changes will be purely aesthetic, but behind the scenes the new toolset will help our team collaborate better with the developers and allow us to make even more improvements to the Ignition User Manual in the future. As always, if you have any questions or comments for our team, please feel free to reach out to us at docs@inductiveautomation.com or leave a comment in this thread!

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SIgh. Catering to the young people who can actually see that, so you can destroy their vision quicker?

(Simple optics: Dark backgrounds cause pupils to dilate, which reduces depth-of-field, which requires more focusing effort, particularly as presbyopia progresses.)

Just say NO to dark mode.

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Luckily dark mode isn't compulsory, just an option for those who prefer it

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What platform are you using for this new docs manual?

I'm hoping search works better with partial entries instead of having to type out exactly what you're searching for before it will match.

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I'm hoping search works better with partial entries instead of having to type out exactly what you're searching for before it will match.

The search function should be much better. In addition to finding partial entries, it should do reasonably well with typos, too:

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The new manual is built with Docusaurus

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Sounds good, look forward to it. Hopefully there are more places where Vision and Perspective features are explicitly differentiated. I don't need it so much now that I know Perspective pretty well, but I wasted hours coming up the curve wasting my time trying Vision-only features that I didn't know weren't in Perspective. Having more of that would make learning the system a lot less frustrating.

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I had no idea that is how it worked.

I thought that dark mode expended less energy for the emitting of the screen and for observing. Is there a happy middle ground, like is the blue background good or is it like basically white is best?

I had been designing screens with either black or dark blue backgrounds. Then putting white text and lines on them mostly. I thought I was helping operators.

Or other bright colors. And one's workspace should be well-lit, so your pupils don't have to repeatedly dilate and then constrict whenever you look away from the screens and back.

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I'm a fan of Solarized Light but unfortunately Ignition doesn't have it out of the box.

To get back on the topic: One thing that always annoyed me about the Ignition Manual was that if I end up on a page from an earlier version (usually from Google search), the link to the latest version drops me off on the home page instead of the latest version of the same page.

Contrast with the Python docs, where if my search lands me on Python 3 I can choose Python 2.7 in the dropdown and it will take me to the same manual page if possible.

Is this something implemented in the new update or could it be implemented in the future? It would save me from having to repeat my search, this time in the manual's search bar.

Speaking of the search bar, it was also a bit annoying how the two search bars (sidebar vs upper right) have different behaviors.

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If I land on the wrong docs version I can usually just edit the URL in the browser address bar. e.g.,

https://.../DOC79/Alarm+Notification+Pipelines
https://.../DOC81/Alarm+Notification+Pipelines

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For the most part, any system functions and expression functions pages should redirect you to the equivalent page in a different version, assuming that function exists in both 7.9 and 8.1. Other sections may or may not, just based on how different the structure is between the 7.9 manual and the 8.1 manual. I have some ideas on how we might be able to implement this more consistently in other sections, though it'll require a bit more manual tweaking of individual pages.

Good news, there's only one search bar in the new docs, and it behaves better than either of the old ones.

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Are there any plans to add context-sensitive help to the designer so that if we're scripting, or on a property of a component that we could hit a help button that would take us to the help for that component/function/etc? So many times I've wanted to just be able to hit F1 and get instant help but have to go to the online manual and search it myself.

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+++1

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This is more of an issue with the "development" side of the house than the "documentation" side of the house. In newer areas of the product, such as most places in Perspective, the extension function descriptions contain a 'Learn More' link that takes you directly to an appropriate manual page:

However, many areas of the product are still missing these, because we haven't gone in and done the legwork to set up the links - it's definitely on our agenda to do so. Adding a hotkey to "click" those links for you would also be quite doable, and is a good idea for an easy enhancement :slight_smile:

We're also planning to tie the gateway webpage configuration of things into the designer in a bit more direct way.

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I'm assuming the gateway webpage config tie-ins is more of an v8.3 feature with the new RESTful API?

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Links to manual pages have broken for me.
Are those permanently broken?
Is the old manual no longer going to be accessible?

I went to the new manual, and the search bar is on the opposite side of the screen from the navigation on the new one.

I there a color option to make it the blue color it used to be for familiarity?
I don't mean to request new features.
I just wondered like if that is a thing and I don't know about it.

I am having an issue finding the page on datasets and pydatasets.


I found it.
Datasets | Ignition User Manual]

Oh no, that means all the forum link references are probably broken?

Yes, deep links into the old user manual are broken. You will have to make new ones.

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