Introduction to this hypertext documentation
This module describes some of the key features of the NG4.1 hypertext
user documentation. This module does not explain much about how
your browser presents information to you because there are many
significant differences between the various browsers and even between
different versions of the same browser. For detailed information about
using your browser, use your browser's help feature.
Information modules are brief
Most of the modules in the NG4.1 user documentation are brief to avoid
user fatigue from scrolling through large online files. Most modules deal
with just one topic, which also improves their usability. Redundant
information is avoided wherever possible: hypertext links allow relevant
information to be accessed from anywhere in the system. This precludes
the need to duplicate information. Finally, the
links provided in the text and graphics
have been planned to be as useful as possible to you; an excessive
number of links and/or irrelevant links can interfere with comprehension
of the material.
Orientation cues in color
The documentation for the three
new interfaces to NCAR Graphics is divided into four parts. The NG4.1
preface files are visually coordinated for you
with the color purple in the roadmap
and in the control panels for each
module. The Quick Start Guide is
color-coded with green. The User Guide
is color-coded with blue. The Reference
Manual is color-coded with yellow. Through this color scheme, every module
in the NG4.1 hypertext documentation provides cues to keep you oriented.
Navigation tools in every module
Every module offers a control panel at its beginning and end. These
control panels allow you to move efficiently from one area of the
information system to another. While this is advantageous in many ways,
you might also become confused about where you are and where you came
from. To minimize such confusion, we have provided color cues
and roadmaps. (These navigation tools are discussed in the
Navigation tools in your browser
You can also use the navigation tools available from your browser to help
you move around the documentation. A "Back" button returns you to the module
you were viewing prior to your currently displayed module. You can use this
button repeatedly to retrace your path through the hypertext files. There is
also a "Forward" button that becomes active after you use the Back button.
The Netscape browser has a "Go" menu that shows you a list of all the files
you have visited; you can select a file directly from this list without having
to repeatedly use the Back or Forward buttons. The Mosaic browser provides
this same functionality in the "Navigate" menu, under "Window History."
An extremely useful tool provided by your browser is the "Bookmark"
(Netscape) or the "Hotlist" (Mosaic). This feature allows you to record
the location of any file with the click of a button: you can use this
to keep track of modules that you will need to visit often. Netscape
allows you to organize these locations under headings, and Mosaic records
your selections chronologically (new locations are added to the bottom
of the list).
- Of course, you can create your own HTML document--a personalized
"home page"--in which you can organize your favorite locations in ways
that are most useful to you. Many people "publish" their home pages on
the World Wide Web (WWW) to publicly express their creativity and
individuality. For more information about the World Wide Web, you
might find value in the
Asked Questions document.
Ongoing documentation updates
The NG4.1 documentation on the NCAR server is being continually updated.
The files you are viewing on your local server were "frozen" at the
time we wrote them onto the distribution medium (compact disk or
magnetic tape). As of the 4.0 release, NCAR Graphics staff members
were discussing ways to provide our customers with automatic updates
of their local NG4.1 documentation files, but such a system has not been
implemented as of the summer of 1995.
So if you want to check for a more up-to-date version of any file, add
to the "Bookmarks" or "Hotlist" in your browser. Then visit our
server for the most current documentation available.
If you find that you use certain modules frequently, you may decide that
it is worthwhile to print those modules. You can print any module using
the "Print" function in your browser's "File" menu. This approach can be
more convenient that having a complete hardcopy manual at your desk, but
your printed modules may become outdated as the NG4.1 user documentation
evolves. You can also print a copy of the latest documentation from NCAR's
server specified in the preceding paragraph.
PostScript copies of fully-assembled NG4.1 user documents have been provided on the NCAR Graphics distribution. These are not designed as hardcopy manuals; they are concatenated, in table-of-contents order, from the hypertext files.
NCAR Graphics 4.1 Control Panel
NG 4.1 Home, Index, Examples, Glossary, Feedback, NG4.1 Contents, NG4.1 WhereAmI?
$Revision: 1.12 $ $Date: 1998/06/15 20:41:21 $