Ok after my last post about uml which seems too much work let me suggest another performance booster for yii development that is easier to implement. An improved help system.

First of all I would like to give my regards to AutoIT. Many of you might not know it but Auto IT Scripting is a very easy and simple script language to automate things in windows and create programs with the standard windows GUI. Although they use the old windows help system they have managed to make it very efficient.

First key component: EXAMPLES/SAMPLES

When I am working in AutoIT, much like in jQuery help, I DO NOT have to read any documentation, a simple example or a sample of a fully working segment of code is enough to understand PURPOSE and FUNCTIONALITY of each function and/or variable. Documentation comes as a complementary help in case I want to use the function in a non-standard way.

When I am working on Yii I try to do the same, I have open the WIKI and CLASS REFERENCE and I go back and forth between these two. So first suggestion is to MERGE wiki and class reference in one help file.

In AutoIT help, much like a dictionary, when I have an ‘add’ function, I also get a link about its opposite the ‘remove’ function, or similar function. This I see has been implemented in some extent in Yii but has to be expanded!

Second key component: REAL TIME FEEDBACK

Another thing that is not immediate in AutoIT help is that as the time goes by, the Help file gets bigger and bigger. Every time a function, implemented by a random user, gets mature enough is EMBEDDED inside the AutoIT like it comes from the AutoIT team itself, with documentation and everything. I am glad to see that Yii has taken a step to this approaching by embedding some widgets. REPEAT THAT MUCH MORE!!

And finally the Definitive Guide to Yii. Nice book but has to be connected/merged also with the Wiki and Class Reference.

I am rookie and I know the simple fact. I will give it as an example: I know ajax technology exists, I won’t try to remember every little technical specification for ajax in every language or framework I work from time to time, I want to think the word ‘ajax’ -> put the word inside a help system -> get everything I need for ajax, or for strings, or for forms, or for file management, or for any other common notion in programming. Only as a LAST RESORT I should try to search this forum…

Thanks for reading this. I have opened a lot of issues so please don’t hesitate to ask me if any clarifications are needed :)