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User talk:Janne Peräaho

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Moved Workbench ARexx commands

Janne, you have moved the Workbench ARexx commands chapter from ARexx to the Workbench manual... But there's no obvious chapter for ARexx in the Workbench manual, and there's no link from the ARexx manual either. How should people find this information? Ideally you should have both.


Hello Rob,
Yes, I moved the Workbench ARexx commands to the Workbench manual's Chapter 4. Using Workbench, under the title 3 ARexx Interface. The reason for doing this was that Workbench is not the only program included in AmigaOS that has an ARexx port. The idea was that all programs included in AmigaOS that have an ARexx port will be listed in the ARexx manual's Appendix F. ARexx Compatible Applications along with some general information. The list was supposed to make it easier to find the ARexx compatible applications and their ARexx commands.
I admit the application list is somewhat hidden. A better solution would be to create a new chapter in the ARexx manual and explain how one can control applications using ARexx and present the application list in that chapter. Workbench could have its own section in the chapter, but I would keep the Workbench ARexx commands in the Workbench manual just like the other applications' ARexx commands are part of their documentation.
Janne Peräaho (talk) 04:39, 8 September 2019 (CEST)

Hi Janne, It's true there are plenty of other applications that support ARexx, but Workbench is pretty special in that it's the core of the whole user interaction with the machine, which is why the ARexx manual (which is an OS manual, remember, not a manual for every application) included Workbench.

But the problem is not the obscurity of the list of applications, it's the location of the Workbench ARexx information. There is still no easy link to it from either the ARexx or Workbench manuals, requiring a lot of to-ing and fro-ing to find it. So in recent times, I just refer to the 3.9 manual, which is laid out more logically. But, regardless of whether it should be in the Workbench manual or in the ARexx manual isn't a big deal - the real problem with how you've arranged it is that it's not discoverable. You've tacked it onto the end of the usage chapter, which is a very different level of focus to ARexx information - if someone needs to be looking in the chapter that explains what the Rename menu item does, they're probably not at the level of experience needed for automating such features in their own programs. And similarly, if someone is looking for the syntax for accessing icon metadata from ARexx, they don't really need to scroll down past the descriptions of what the Icon information window does to get there. It needs its own, separate chapter - since it's not originally in the Workbench manual, the place that makes most sense is as a new appendix. After all, it was an appendix of the ARexx manual in the first place.

Please move the ARexx section into its own chapter, and add suitable high-level references to the ARexx chapter from wherever else you feel appropriate. I would suggest in the main contents of the ARexx manual, since users familiar with the manual from previous versions of the OS will expect it there. It's a waste having the information squirrelled away where only you can easily find it. If you prefer, I'll do it the way I see fit, but I'll leave it for a while to let you have a chance to do it your way first.