behavior of documentation actor
Hello. The documentation actor will be an important component of workflows that outlive individual analyst's involvement in a project. Although the canvas provides an intuitive picture of the analysis, it doesn't take much complexity before some careful documentation is worthwhile. To some extent, annotations can do the trick, but I have found that sometimes we want a few paragraphs about the intended use, followed by a list of steps to follow. This seems especially important when the workflow serves an exploratory function and various actors get connected and disconnected as the work proceeds. I finally landed on the Documentation actor, but someone may know of a better solution?
Anyway, in dealing with the Documentation actor, I found different behaviors on the mac and pc. Specifically, I was able to get documentation for my workflow on a MacBook Pro, and edit it, but after opening the same workflow on my pc, I could only see the documentation once. On the mac, I dragged a Documentation actor to the canvas, right-clicked the canvas and chose Documentation->Customize or Documentation->Display. On the pc, the Display option works once, but then Customize and subsequent requests to Display show empty documentation forms, one for customizing, one for displaying - but no documentation exists. Is it me???
Also, it would be very helpful if workflow documentation would retain formatting. For example, on the mac where I've had the most luck creating documentation, I format with paragraph breaks and numbered lists - all the usual ways of breaking up text into logical and useful groupings. And, this formatting is retained in the Customize window. It displays as one long string in the Display window, however. Is this easy to fix?
Updated by Kevin Drury almost 15 years ago
I may have found the reason for the loss of my documentation after the first view in Windows XP. When I right-click on the canvas and choose "Documentation->Customize" the "Editing Documentation for work_flow_name" dialog appears. It does not seem to import the existing documentation for editing, however. The form is blank. Yesterday, while messing around with this, on several occasions I closed this dialog with the "x" in the upper right-hand corner. I believe that the blank contents of the fields of the Edit dialog box then over-wrote the existing documentation (with nothing). Subsequent calls to "Documentation->Display" then showed no documentation. The "Cancel" button apparently does the same thing.