Request: Better inbuilt tooltips / docs

marble_wraith

New Member
I think we can all agree that NTlite has a gargantuan amount of options (well done ).

But it'd really help useability (and sales) both for veterans, not having to specifically remember what every setting does off the cuff, and the uninitiated who are using NTlite for the first time, if the tooltips were a little more comprehensive.

Example. Under settings -> Delivery Optimization.

The options there are a little difficult to grok just from their names alone.

When reading them, what's the difference between "Windows Update" vs "Cloud Service" vs "BITS"? (rhetorical).

It seems reasonable to assume Windows Update is a cloud based service (i.e. you get updates off the internet) and so the "cloud service" is something extra? And the option "Windows Update and WSUS, without peering, or cloud service" reinforces this.

This confusion can be avoided. Just make the option names exactly the same as in the docs here:


And add this URL to the bottom description that shows up. Even if it's just text and not an actual hyperlink.

2022-February-11--09-11AM--LinedFull.png

Crazy Idea: Open Sourcing

I have no idea how you build this software, but couldn't the docs / tooltips portion of it be open sourced? It's just text after all, so it should be as simple as a github repo with appropriate CI/CD process for transforms and linting?

Naturally all pull requests would need to be vetted by you guys, but it'd save you the time of having to write stuff yourself, update changes, find related docs online, etc.
 

nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
Hi,

thanks for the feedback, in general I agree, now let me be a mixed marshal artist of defensiveness and vision.

Regarding the NTLite being a Windows help database for anything it lists, in general would be nice, but the tool is there to help automate what you are already doing, not so much to educate about Windows.
Sometimes it's both, and easier the UI becomes, more it will educate on what's possible, sure.

Now with that said, meaning that the point of the tool is to reference, not educate, let's explain the Delivery Optimization text.

For example:
"HTTP Only" became "Windows Update and WSUS, without peering, with cloud service"
To make it more clear what it does from the title, HTTP only made no sense to me at the time of writing, and reading a wall of text to say the same:

"This setting disables peer-to-peer caching but still allows Delivery Optimization to download content over HTTP from the download's original source. This mode uses additional metadata provided by the Delivery Optimization cloud services for a peerless reliable and efficient download experience."

Is a bit much, for translators of the tool and for a (inpatient) user.
However, I very much like your idea of linking to MS documentation, will for sure have that in mind going forward.
In this case could have saved a lot of text by having the "HTTP Only" and linking to the explanation.
Also since the tool is supposed to reference, it would be better to have kept the official "HTTP Only" than to reimagine the title/description mix.
This was mostly as it's not easy to put descriptions per option, without listing all of them when pointing to the option on the left.
I could make it change description depending on the chosen option, and not explaining the others until they are clicked on?

Regarding open sourcing the text, it's already like that, see in the tool's folder .\Lang\translation.xml, all the text is in it, easy to branch and create your own translation or a twist, submit suggestions referencing a string number, etc.
 

marble_wraith

New Member
Regarding the NTLite being a Windows help database for anything it lists, in general would be nice, but the tool is there to help automate what you are already doing, not so much to educate about Windows.
Sometimes it's both, and easier the UI becomes, more it will educate on what's possible, sure.

I'm not proposing you do microsoft + Udemy's job for them and document / link to absolutely everything, that'd be insane :D

In most cases, the name of something is "good enough" to indicate what that thing does, particularly when there's only a binary way of configuring it anyway (i.e. on/off, enabled/disabled, true/false, etc).

My line of thought, it's more for things that have multiple / non-binary ways of configuring them and a reasonable amount of depth / nuance, such as the Delivery Optimization example i mentioned.

The vast majority of things should not be affected. Sorry if i didn't clarify that well enough.

However, I very much like your idea of linking to MS documentation, will for sure have that in mind going forward.
In this case could have saved a lot of text by having the "HTTP Only" and linking to the explanation.
Also since the tool is supposed to reference, it would be better to have kept the official "HTTP Only" than to reimagine the title/description mix.

I totally get the impetus behind it though. Programmers mindset it's common to try and label things by what they do, to keep them composable.

Thing is, if it already has a name / abstraction associated, and has documentation... 99% of the time, no matter how stupid the name may sound, it's easier to just adopt the given name + you get the benefit of being able to point at said docs. Yay for being lazy!... i mean more efficient ;)

I could make it change description depending on the chosen option, and not explaining the others until they are clicked on?

That would certainly be an additional way of imparting meaning, yes. But i feel getting appropriate URLs in there first, should be the priority.

Because native option names / descriptions, given they should be short and to the point, by definition can only lose out to the rich format of the web, in the case where people are looking for more detail.

Also just had a thought. Again i'm not sure how NTlite is built but imagine this for a moment.

For specific links that have been included, you have a web scraper go through and cache the content of those pages. Every X time period (month?) you can repeat the cache process and diff the old with the new.

This would essentially give you a sort of regression test. If Microsoft changes something and documents it, you'll know.

Regarding open sourcing the text, it's already like that, see in the tool's folder .\Lang\translation.xml, all the text is in it, easy to branch and create your own translation or a twist, submit suggestions referencing a string number, etc.

o_O I see! Thanks for pointing this out! I would've remained completely oblivious
 
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garlin

Moderator
Staff member
Caching MS content is a DMCA issue to be avoided. When you make a product modifying Windows, it helps to not trigger Redmond.
Like I said, it's mostly compiling a list of Policy CSP links (which is the same content in ADMX templates).

The required list is long enough, but manageable.
 

nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
marble_wraith, thanks for the input, agreed on all fronts except the caching, even though it sounds sweet.
To the garlin's point, maybe a note that it's from X site would help, but still, too much work instead of a simple link.
For me built-in browsers feel insecure - I want my main browser plugins to be active when connecting to any site.

Will definitely add the linking while restructuring the Tweaks/Settings page, been planning to make it better looking with switches, selectable setting vs policy, and now a link is getting on that list.
Currently some other pages need love as well, so potentially will add links before the redesign if possible, UI control-wise.
 

garlin

Moderator
Staff member
I've compiled a list of 65 links corresponding to <Snnnn> lines. Unfortunately, they're all in English. Maybe NTLite can detect your Language setting and reparse them with a Bing/Google auto-translated URL's.
 

nuhi

NTLite developer
Staff member
I've compiled a list of 65 links corresponding to <Snnnn> lines. Unfortunately, they're all in English. Maybe NTLite can detect your Language setting and reparse them with a Bing/Google auto-translated URL's.
Sure, the support links usually have /en-us/ in the link, so that can be changed.
 
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