Houdini Manual entries are often very weirdly written...

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Joined: April 2021
Hi all, I've been learning Houdini indie for about a year now and have come a long way.

I am extremely grateful for the wealth of info that comes in the help manual entries, they're much better than some software, but there are many instances where they feel very inconsistent. People open the help files because they're something they don't understand or need a reminder of, but the help files often don't feel written for that audience.

Does anyone else see the issue here? The notation of the example is using characters reserved by other features of the l-system algorithm. What does "(named using )" refer to? Named using what? Named using what?! Is there missing text from this sentence? I'm sure it made sense to the person writing this but this type of syntactic shorthand is not a meaningful way of communicating, especially for people who are trying to learn. Another example was the vex "intersect" function. Nowhere does the help entry say that it will self-intersect unless you give the starting position a slight offset. It makes sense that'd be the case, but the example in the help file doesn't cover it. I can imagine dozens of forum posts asking about this over the years including mine, and it seems like a simple thing to note in the help file.

I'm sure a lot of these are things people learn from each other over years of experience, but frustrating situations where I need a small piece of info that's not covered in the help, and either I have to post questions in a forum or watch an hour-long tutorial hoping they spend 3 seconds addressing the one thing I need.

Am I crazy? Is this asking too much? Do I need to go to a vfx school?
Edited by ghanson752 - March 1, 2023 16:06:08

Screenshot 2023-03-01 115839.png (111.7 KB)

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Joined: Dec. 2009
I agree.

For letting sidefx' documentation team officially know about that, you should make an rfe, including links to the documentation pieces you would like to be overhauled.
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Joined: Aug. 2019
The quality of their document varies a lot. I guess maybe some of them were written very, very long time ago?

Either way they really need to ensure every node has at least one example file.
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