Does anyone else find the 11g documentation on tahiti more difficult to navigate than the previous 10g and 9i documentation? I think this is because of the frames and collapsable headings. The frames are especially annoying.
Not everyone has 21" displays, even if they did what was wrong with the format of the 10g documentation? Efficiency is less keystrokes and interaction, I'm continually having to collapse, expand, scroll and hide navigation, something I never had to do before. The frames make it worse. Even finding something as simple as all the init.ora parameters was a task which was simple enough in the 9i and 10g documentation.
The 11g HTML docs are - let us be generous and simply say "regretful"
I have reverted to PDF docs - they do not steal real estate from my display monitor.
The lack of hyperlinks make them less functional but without the navigation nonsense they are in fact more utile.
The only thing worse than the 11g docs is the new Metalink - but that is another post and another matter of poor design....
We're always grateful for and interested in this kind of feedback. Stellios, I saw you submitted a doc comment to the same effect, sorry we had not had a chance to follow up yet.
The 11g features that change the layout can be turned off:
Sidebar - select "Hide Navigation". That setting should be remembered by cookie across pages, although you would have to select it again when switching to a different browser or computer. The only reason I can think why the setting might not persist is browser security settings, for example if the browser considered it a "third-party" cookie when a page from download.oracle.com tried to set a global cookie for *.oracle.com, and someone had configured the browser not to accept third-party cookies.
Collapsible TOC - select "Always expand all". That setting is recorded by cookie and server-side based on the OTN user ID, so it should remain in effect even if you switch browsers/computers, as long as you are logged into OTN under the same ID.
The special page listing all the initialization parameters, and subsetting them, is still there in 11g at:
Although it isn't as prominent in the doc interface as in e.g. 9i. (It's one of the "Advanced" links under "Popular Topics" on the Administration page. The list of Data Dictionary Views is also there.)
If you have a choice of browsers for your work (understandably, not always the case), have you tried Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome? The major browser not in that list has some rendering bugs that affect scrollbar placement.
One item in the navigation bar that hopefully is worth the real estate is the search box on every doc page. If you are reading "CREATE TABLE" and want to look at the definition of ALL_TABLES, NLS_DATE_FORMAT, etc., that topic should be a single type/enter/click sequence away.
When someone says that they don't like the layout, they frequently cite the Database Reference, as in "It was easier to find parameter/view XYZ before". Is there something about this specific information, maybe the wide format on the detail pages, that makes it harder to read the Reference information than, say, an Overview from the Concepts book? Or is the navigation equally in the way in all cases? Is it typical to scan the lists of keywords in the TOC looking for a name, rather than having a name in mind to type (or copy/paste) into the search box?
If "Hide Navigation" is not sufficient to keep someone from switching to PDF, then this might be a silly question, but would it be helpful to have a way to make the sidebar narrower? Since the layout is using cascading stylesheets rather than true frames, there's no drag bar, but there could be Narrower/Wider buttons or keyboard shortcuts.
Anyway I am wondering, why so non-obvious solution. And why it is not documented in the help topics for the documentation
(e.g. here http://www.oracle.com/pls/apx41/help and here http://www.oracle.com/pls/db112/help)?