I agree with you completely, Mudhenn. Thanks for taking time to share your feedback on this issue.
Even with the more "streamlined" interface in TB9, there are still so many "hidden" features and functions in software that I'm not sure documentation in the "tips" will be adequate. (If nothing else, the tips don't include a search function or an index.)
In fact, the more I've thought about this, the more the logic here eludes me:
> If the "less discoverable" features in TB9 can be adequately documented in the tips, then why would creating a manual (with an index) be such a "beast" of a task?
> Conversely, if creating a manual really is a beastly task, then how could the tips ever adequately capture everything that otherwise would have been included in a manual?
I'm also confused by Sean's comment: "The software evolves too quickly for us to keep it up to date easily."
I do realize that creating documentation is a demanding and exacting challenge. However, in this context, it seems like one (obvious?) solution to keeping the manual updated would to put the user guide documentation online in a brain where it could be maintained as a living document and regularly updated as the software evolves.
In fact, I thought TheBrain was already moving in this direction with the creation of this online knowledgebase for TheBrain 8:
I hasten to add, I understand the intention now may be for TheBrain 9 Quick Start brain to serve as this "User Guide" -- and I personally do like the videos provided in this brain. However, in it's current form, the Quick Start Brain does not include a detailed index, and it cannot be dynamically updated if it is provided as a downloadable template rather than as an online web brain resource.
In addition, since individual users have already attempted to provide "user guide" documentation for TB8 in their own web brains, this suggests to me there may be more than a few users would find an online "brain" manual to be of value of TB9:
Finally, I confess I'm also concerned about the fundamental design assumption Sean mentioned:
> "If it needs a manual, it's wrong".
I understand there are benefits to having a clean and streamlined user interface. However, if this particular assumption has been the guiding principle for the development of TB9, then this may actually confirm concerns that have been shared elsewhere in this forum that too much simplification of the user interface may actually run the risk of "dumbing down" the entire application.
Since TheBrain has historically been unique in its class, with a rich, versatile and customizable feature set, I do hope the long-term development of TheBrain 9 will follow in this tradition -- and I do hope reconsideration will be given to the merits of providing more detailed documentation for those users who want to take full advantage of all the great tools and features TheBrain has to offer.