After my first install of modx over the weekend I ran into the same block when it comes to finding info on the various elements available and the documentation. Although the sample site which I installed gives a few examples of usage it leaves a bit to be desired... for web savvy users this is maybe not so much a problem but for a novice it would be a chore to find relevent help for a specific task.
I came up with an internal help system (only done for snippets so far) which provides snippet specific help from a "Usage Tips" tab in the snippet edit interface. When a snippet author posts a snippet, they would create a help file which holds all the usage and configuration data which then the end user can drop into their help folder and have the information available instantly without leaving the manager...
2 main benefits I’ve noticed so far:
1. Instantly switch from edit snippet to snippet help in the manager interface
2. The snippet authors info, usage tips, and documentation can be added to the help file and removed from the snippet itself. Removing the unneeded code from the snippet reduces the file size which = less bandwidth & less database size. Take the stock DropMenu for example, I removed 82 lines of code and shrunk the database size by 44.3 kb on just that one snippet. Space and bandwidth cost so this (or something similar) would reap benefits for all end users.
How it works:
The snippet developer starts a thread for their snippet (first post should probably be a sticky so new updates would be easy to find) and then creates a help file and attaches it to the post or provides a link to it.
snippet name: toplink
snippet help file: toplinkhelp.php.txt
The user would then copy the snippet code, install as usual and then copy the help file and rename it to "toplinkhelp.php" and upload it into the help folder. The manager then checks the help folder for the help file and if one is found the information appears in the Usage Tips tab for that specific snippet. All the authors info is shown at the bottom of the tab (see attached screenshot) and everyone is much happier
Sample help file:
last edit: 6/25/06 1:49 pm est
<br /><br />Please use the MODx Content Manager instead of accessing this file directly.");
Add regular html code here and it will appear in the Usage Tips tab...
What do you guys and gals think?