Improve Help/Info/Detail on Settings



  • Hello,

    Some of the settings are vague and need to be explained better, both on the online help pages, and also within the settings menu itself (one way is to add a tootip for each option).

    • Add more details to the help file
    • Update the tooltips in settings to show them only where useful.
    • Provide links in the help file to more complex topics. This could be links to existing blog articles on security and privacy.

    Some settings have no info at all. Other settings only have info on the online pages. A 3rd group of settings have small-font explanation below the checkbox. A 4th group of settings show tooltips when scrolling over the checkboxes. This is way too inconsistent.

    Some examples...

    For example, in the Search settings, the following options are completely foreign to me:

    • Use POST method
    • Set as private search

    I have no idea what they do, and there is no help/info/description on those options anywhere, not even on the online help page here https://help.vivaldi.com/article/search/. The help page actually shows screenshots of those particular settings, but there is no mention of them or what they do.

    A handful of the options with checkboxes have tooltips, but they're some of the most obvious ones that really don't need any explanation. For example, on the Startup settings page, the option to check default browser on startup has a tooltip explaining just that. That one is just redundant because the check box title is "Check on startup" and it's located under "Default browser" settings in the Startup menu. That's pretty obvious, while some of the more obscure options have no explanation.

    In Webpages, under Plugins, there is "Enable Widevine plugin". This one I had to dig out on the online help - at least there was info somewhere. Of course, it would be very useful to have one or two-sentence tooltip to indicate that this plugin is related to playing certain video formats. I wouldn't even need to know more than that to leave it enabled.

    I really like the browser, but it is still unfinished. The help/info is sketchy at best and sometimes just missing altogether. The info methods are inconsistent. Someone really dropped the ball on providing help.

    Thank you for the consideration.



  • @ilililiilli I wonder if it would be worth having a wiki-style help page (in addition to the official help) that anyone can edit.

    I appreciate that has its own overhead attached in terms of managing it, but it would give the community a chance to provide more details for anything that's missing.



  • @lonm a wiki would be good too. Honestly, at this point the format doesn't really matter to me, as long as they have at least one complete help database. Right now they don't even have that.



  • I don't mean to pile on, but the more I want to get familiar with the browser settings, the more I find out that I can't.

    I just looked at the Privacy settings, and found nothing on the following items:

    • "google phishing and malware protection". This is enabled by default. Why? What does it do? Do I need it if I already have an internet security software? What does Google have to do with Vivaldi in this particular option? I ran away from Chrome and other google privacy invasion crap on purpose! Now I'm finding some vague google stuff in a different browser. There is NOTHING in Vivaldi help!
    • "report safe browsing incidents to google". HUH?! More google related crap? I'm sorry but Vivaldi is being even more vague about information sharing than Google itself. Again, NOTHING in the help pages. What does "incident" even mean here? This is not very highly technical language.
    • "Broadcast IP for best WebRTC performance". Enabled by default. Again, what is this? Nothing in help.
    • LoL this one actually made me laugh! 🙂 I have to include a screenshot here, it's too funny... That tooltip is just precious, it's an exact copy of the checkbox title. Someone is just making fun of users here. It seems only the most obvious settings get tooltips, and they are completely redundant.
      alt text

    Sorry but this is just disappointing. I'll stop browsing the settings because it's raising my blood pressure.


  • Moderator

    There is not much point in directing a lot of effort to help files:

    1. Many users do not read them, especially if they are long and detailed.
    2. If anyone does not already know what phishing is, they can search for it on DuckDuckGo. The same goes for anything technical. Most users who don't already know geek stuff, don't need to know, so bloating the help file with that kind of information makes life harder for non-geeks. They worry about stuff that they don't understand.
    3. Vivaldi is a moving target. Any documentation written in March may be out of date by the end of April.
    4. Tooltips and settings text have to be translated into many languages. Be careful what you wish for. You might be diverting efforts from what really matters to things that people either know already or can find out easily.
    5. The help file should just tell users how to use the browser, not how to use the Internet.
    6. A Wiki is not a great idea. it leads to duplication of effort, and inconsistencies in the language used and method of presentation. Help is best written by a small team of developers who are active on the forum, and are familiar with the most common problems that users encounter.


  • Perhaps then a sort of "index" of useful posts made on the forum may help. Right now we have stickied/pinned messages at the top of certain forums, but that might be difficult to navigate and you can only pin so many.

    I mention this as @IlIlIlIIllI previously mentioned the "phishing and malware protection" offered by google - I know for a fact that somewhere in the forums one of the devs described how this worked in detail, but I would need to know what to search for (and know that it existed already) to find it.



  • Mod Edit: Shouting and ranting removed to make the reply more courteous.

    @pesala said in Improve help/info/detail on settings:

    There is not much point in directing a lot of effort to help files:

    I wasn't asking for a lot of effort. A little would be a good start. Half the settings are not explained anywhere.

    1. Many users do not read them, especially if they are long and detailed.

    "Long and detailed" is definitely not the issue here. I'll take short and concise over non-existent. "Many users do not read them" is 1. wrong, and 2. is not a reason to not explain how the browser works.

    1. If anyone does not already know what phishing is, they can search for it on DuckDuckGo. The same goes for anything technical. Most users who don't already know geek stuff, don't need to know, so bloating the help file with that kind of information makes life harder for non-geeks. They worry about stuff that they don't understand.

    They don't need to know? That's just insulting to the user community!

    There is a big difference between the general meaning of the term 'phishing', and "Google phishing and malware protection" which seems to be a specific service provided by Google. And it's not just phishing but malware, which implies some kind of an anti-virus scanner. The fact that you don't feel that the company should provide at least some detail about such third-party services is amazing to me.

    You talk about "bloating the help" ?! How do you leap from non-existent help to "bloated"?

    1. Vivaldi is a moving target. Any documentation written in March may be out of date by the end of April.

    We're not talking about minor details about things that get updated often. This is about a 1-2 sentence description of some major features in the browser. Those don't come and go every month.

    1. Tooltips and settings text have to be translated into many languages. Be careful what you wish for. You might be diverting efforts from what really matters to things that people either know already or can find out easily.

    Many languages?? How about just one to begin with? Might I suggest English?! Unbelievable.

    1. The help file should just tell users how to use the browser, not how to use the Internet.

    I'm rolling my eyes by now. What do you consider all the settings to be? Not part of using the browser?

    1. A Wiki is not a great idea. it leads to duplication of effort, and inconsistencies in the language used and method of presentation. Help is best written by a small team of developers who are active on the forum, and are familiar with the most common problems that users encounter.

    There is no duplication, if half the settings are not mentioned anywhere!

    Honestly, I would have expected a response along the lines of "we may consider it at a later point", or something else more respectful. But to tell users that we should not be allowed to even have access to basic information about core features, because most users are ignorant and don't need to know, etc..



  • @ilililiilli I kind of agree about the condescending tone, and this user's reaction. Regardless of how many users choose to access the information, it should be made available somewhere.
    I also don't like some of Google's practices, so seeing google features built into this browser without any detail is a little concerning.
    In general though, hearing that "users don't need to know" something is very off-putting, especially in this age of privacy/security issues, and user data being misused by corporations. That's just not the right message, ever.



  • @pesala said in Improve help/info/detail on settings:

    If anyone does not already know what phishing is, they can search for it on DuckDuckGo. The same goes for anything technical. Most users who don't already know geek stuff, don't need to know, so bloating the help file with that kind of information makes life harder for non-geeks. They worry about stuff that they don't understand.

    Uhhm...Most software developers don't tell their users to go use a search engine to find out how their software works. 🙂

    Also, informing the user what each option does is not really 'geek' stuff in my opinion. I'm an average user, not a geek, and I do want to know what these things do, like "POST search", or "private search", or "google malware", or "incident reports to google" etc. This is basic functionality, not highly advanced topics. I never noticed that the google malware was enabled by default, but now I don't know if I need it because I already have anti-virus on my computer.

    More information will make life harder? LoL. Life won't be any harder for those who don't bother to read the help, but life will be easier for those who read it to find out how things work.

    A little advice to the moderator: keeping your users informed is always a good thing.


  • Moderator

    @ilililiilli said in Improve help/info/detail on settings:

    I really like the browser, but it is still unfinished. The help/info is sketchy at best and sometimes just missing altogether. The info methods are inconsistent.

    This is all true. The browser is unfinished, and is rapidly evolving. It is doing so with a very small team. There is no talent to spare, to assign someone exclusively to documentation (at least there is some documentation now - there was none just a few months ago).

    On the bright side, there is the user community, who are very helpful, and several volunteer moderators who know the browser and have some degree of technical expertise and who, on the whole, are willing to answer questions rapidly, or make quick reference to where data can be found. As the browser matures and is no longer making substantial changes day to day, making documentation hard to keep up with, and as the staff grows, the documentation will get better and better.

    To be fair, no one actually dropped the ball here. There has not actually been anyone to carry that ball on a team this small.


  • Moderator

    @ilililiilli said in Improve help/info/detail on settings:

    that was unexpected and uncalled for from staff.

    Pesala, as most moderators, is not staff. He is a volunteer, as am I. I don't agree with a couple of the opinions he stated in his answer (I think if there's someone to do it, some weekly or monthly attention to fleshing out the help files is a good idea - a wiki might be helpful), but on the whole his answer was courteous and on-point. BUT - and last pro tip on this point; complaining of mod behavior on the forums will not bring your concerns to the attention of staff. To do that, you should Send a message to Vivaldi. That will come to the immediate attention of community managers.

    You see, from the viewpoint of a moderately informed internet user such as my self, something like "block third-party cookies" is obvious and requires no explanation. It means to allow cookies to only be set by the site you are on, and not by any other party that also contributes content or links to the page. Someone who doesn't understand that when they see that setting, should not be messing with that setting - because if they tick it, it will make some pages on the internet seem "broken" to them - including pages on the Vivaldi sites where you need cookies from both Vivaldi.net and Vivaldi.com (two different domains) to make the page work as expected. Now - if this needs explaining, the paragraph I have written is probably a minimum amount of text to do it, so it won't fit in a tooltip. It's a setting every browser offers (not necessarily where everyone can find it), and falls under the category of "how the internet works," not "how Vivaldi works."

    That said, browsers that have been in development for decades and have hundreds or thousands of staff and contributing developers DO have such exhaustively complete help documentation, which not only explains a setting but literally explains how the internet works (in the very most basic terms) at the same time. I can see where someone might think that this level of documentation just comes with the territory and can be automatically expected to exist, sort of like magic. But it's simply not possible with 23 development staff (originally more like 11) and less than four years of development. (some browsers have literally no help documentation at all) But it will improve.

    I counsel: 1) patience and; 2) whatever you don't understand, come here and ask. We'll do our best to help you.

    As to the two Google settings you asked about: Chromium is the web rendering engine Vivaldi uses. It has, built-in, access to a database maintained by Google that contains tens of thousands of known phishing-type pages. If you enable anti-phishing, the browser will check that database every time you go to a new page and let you know if that page is in that database and, if it is, it will warn you. The other setting (report safe browsing incidents) enables the browser to report a new page not in that database, if you go to a page and the browser detects a back-door attempt to get data from you or your machine without your knowledge. All Chromium-based browsers have these on by default. Vivaldi lets you turn them off. Phishing is inviting a user to enter data or go to a web page, open an email or send an email to a site that steals user data so that it can be sold on the dark web.

    Sorry to drone on and on, but I thought you could use the info.


  • Moderator

    @santiatgo21 Please see my replies above. 1) Mods are not staffers, for the most part. They are volunteers. Staffers rarely read or post here. 2) Documentation will be getting better. It will take time. It's already 100% better than it was a few months back.


  • Moderator

    @ilililiilli I edited your post as it was inaccurate in so many details as pointed out by others. Shouting does not help to get your point across.

    A feature request should be concise and simple, not a long list of things to be done.

    The title is fine. A short description to explain would be adequate.

    • Add more details to the help file
    • Update the tooltips in settings to show them only where useful.
    • Provide a link in the help file to more complex topics. This could be links to existing blog articles on security and privacy.

    Note: All tooltips and text strings in Settings need to be translated to all supported languages. English is the starting point, but there are many Vivaldi users who cannot understand English well. As far as I can tell, the Help file is only available in English. Perhaps that should be translated to at least the majority languages of French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, etc., before adding a lot more detail to the English help file?



  • @ayespy said in Improve help/info/detail on settings:

    I can see where someone might think that this level of documentation just comes with the territory and can be automatically expected to exist, sort of like magic. But it's simply not possible with 23 development staff (originally more like 11) and less than four years of development. (some browsers have literally no help documentation at all) But it will improve.

    Well, thank you for acknowledging that indeed an average user expects to see some level of documentation, even though nobody claimed or implied it's all magic. Being understaffed is a perfectly reasonable explanation, and nothing that would spark criticism. 23 staff are already doing a great job so they deserve credit. Also saying that more info may be added in the future, especially when things settle, is also a reasonable and measured response to the request. However, that wasn't really the crux of Pesala's argument, which basically boiled down to "we won't explain Vivaldi's features because most users don't care to read, and you can just go use a search engine". Or even speculating who is geeky or not, and whether non-geeks are just not interested in learning about the features, is very judgemental and presumptuous toward users. That is not a good response, or a good argument. Maybe Pesola didn't mean it that way, but that is how it came across.

    @ayespy

    Pesala, as most moderators, is not staff. He is a volunteer, as am I.

    Thank you for clarifying. However, "not being staff" is besides the point. The fact is that when I see that 'moderator' tag next to your name, it tells me that you speak on Vivaldi's behalf, whether you get paid or not. In that capacity mods should always be respectful to users.

    Thank you for the contact link. I will use it.

    @ayespy

    You see, from the viewpoint of a moderately informed internet user such as my self, something like "block third-party cookies" is obvious and requires no explanation.

    That's precisely the point with this example. It is a self-explanatory and obvious setting, which most browsers have, and the average user is familiar with... Which is why it was funny to see a tool tip added to that setting basically repeating word by word the setting title. Redundant at best.
    But many other, less obvious, settings are missing tooltips or help file. I would argue that something like "Use POST method" option under search engines, is not just some feature of the internet that an average internet user is expected to know off hand. I have not encountered this in any other browsers. This certainly deserves a mention because it's not about how the internet works in general, but how Vivaldi works specifically. I'm certainly not asking for tutorials on using the internet, only brief info on Vivaldi settings. I hope you can appreciate the difference.

    You paragraph about the google malware/phishing and incident reports is exactly what's missing everywhere I looked. It took you what, 1 min to type that paragraph? That's already much better than no info at all.
    The thing about chromium-based browsers having these built-in features is also good to know. Why do you expect that an average internet user should know about chromium engine or any of the built-in google features that come with it?

    I'm a new Vivaldi user who wanted to try a new browser, knowing nothing about its chromium 'engine'. All I know is that this is an independent company which has nothing to do with Google, so I have no reason to expect that Vivaldi will be sending certain kinds of data to Google, which is certainly important for me to know. It's possible that maybe I had to agree to this 3rd party Google service when I installed VIvaldi, but I have no recollection of that. The brief explanation that you provided would have been perfectly sufficient in the help files.

    @pesala said in Improve help/info/detail on settings:

    I edited your post as it was inaccurate in so many details as pointed out by others. Shouting does not help to get your point across.

    Fair enough. The caps were unnecessary although not without justification.

    A feature request should be concise and simple, not a long list of things to be done.

    We'll agree to disagree about my detailed examples and their usefulness.
    I provided specific examples so you will know what detail is missing. If I had just said "add more details to help file", then you might ask "what more do you need to know, give an example". Again, it comes down to this: more info to the point is always a good thing. Vivaldi staff can take it or leave it as they choose.

    Thank you for your consideration.


  • Moderator

    @ilililiilli said in Improve help/info/detail on settings:

    Many languages?? How about just one to begin with? Might I suggest English?! Unbelievable.

    I just noticed this sentence, and thought I would comment. First, totally believable that the browser is widely translated. The vast majority of the staff and development team of Vivaldi speak English only as a second language. I can think of two offhand who are native English speakers. The remainder have first languages of Norwegian, Icelandic, (the founder, Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner was born and raised in Iceland and went to university and built his first browser company in Norway) Swedish, German, Russian, Japanese, (Japan is where we have our deepest penetration into the market) Finnish, Czech; I think Polish (could be wrong there), etc. The volunteer moderators have first languages of Norwegian, Icelandic, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese, English, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (from Portugal), German, Spanish, French, Russian, Belgian, Hindi, Italian, Hebrew, etc. There are 38 of us, and I think only 4 are native English speakers.

    And given that Vivaldi has to penetrate a global market in order to succeed and remain available for the public to use, 129 volunteer translators translate Vivaldi into over 60 world languages - more than even Chrome.

    So, yes - because English has taken over from French in the last few decades as the "international" language and the "language of diplomacy," and because most primary application languages are derived from English, Vivaldi is developed primarily in English. But because of the nature of the market, and for historic reasons reaching back decades, its greatest penetration is in nations like Japan, Russia, Germany, Poland, Iceland, etc. - places where the browser would be poorly served, and possibly not adopted at all, if it existed solely in English.

    Again I drone on. But I thought this might be a point of interest.



  • @ayespy
    Yes, it helps to know that English is not the primary language of the dev team. My point was that it would help to have something, anything about the options, in any language. It sounded like the devs don't want to post any info on settings until they have everything translated in all the desired languages, which takes time. So start with one or a few languages, but have at least one version of the documentation in some form, somewhere, and additional translations can be added over time. Even if it's in Norwegian or something else most users don't speak, at least we'll be able to translate using google or something. I suggested English to be the first for obvious reasons (it's universal).


  • Moderator

    @ilililiilli And to be clear, documentation is not waiting on translation.



  • This is partially implemented, but not for every setting, which is quite annoying.

    Example video:

    0_1528386969483_2018-06-07_16-55-43.gif

    I took this particular example, as the change that occurs after turning on "extension toggle" is pretty obvious - a button appears that you can press to find out what it does.

    The other one which doesn't have a tooltip, copy and cut encoded address, is much less obvious and would actually require an explanation.


 

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