This post is here to explain how to properly write an email feedback for the Delphi Help system. So often people assume that nobody reads these emails. This leads to emails with little value to us (the Documentation team). Next I am going to describe what is a documentation feedback email, who reads those, why should you care and how to write them properly.
What is a feedback email:
- It’s an email in which you tell us what we did wrong.
- In the recent versions of the RAD Studio Help at the bottom of the page you can see a “Send us feedback” link.
- Pressing of that link will open up a new message window (with your email client). That mail contains some information about the topic in which you pressed the “Send us feedback” link.
- You’re supposed to leave that information in the body, and add a few lines of description.
Why write feedback emails (aka “Why should you care”):
- It helps us identify the topics which are more important to our readers.
- Some topics are out of date or need some notes. Suggesting that in the feedback email helps us complete these topics with more precise “field” information. If you have more free time on your hands you can even suggest fixes for topics.
- You as a consumer of the help may know better which articles would need better “See Also” links.
- It generally takes less than one minute to wrote us an email.
Who is looking at them:
- A person in the documentation team. Usually the emails are processed once a month (it may be longer).
- The QA step is performed by the person in the documentation team and the bug is registered in the internal bug-tracker directly.
How to write a feedback email:
- Leave the subject intact and keep the information in the body of the mail. By removing that information you make the life of the person reviewing that email a lot harder.
- Be specific. Emails that say “all the help is bad” are discarded immediately. If you’re targeting more articles, be sure to specify that.
- Be sure that the email targets a documentation problem. Bugs in the product should be entered through QC. You’re not going to get an answer if you ask a non-documentation related question.
- If you are using a localized Help (French, German or Japanese), write about the problem in English. People reading these feedback emails do not know all the languages.
- Try to refrain from inflammatory phrases. It’s not that pretty to read people using curse words. These mails are sometimes discarded directly.
- Mails that simply praise Delphi 7 help and nothing more are discarded (no informational value).
Note for people using older help versions (like 2006, 2007). A lot of bugs in those versions have already been fixed. I would suggest you download newer versions at http://docs.embarcadero.com (you can get a CHM file for example).