I've developed a strategy in TS that tests out well but I have read that MC seems to offer some distinct advantages over TS in developing/testing and running 'auto' strategies so, I am probably going to try it out again (I've looked at it briefly). In particular, it seems quite a bit 'safer' to use for running auto mode, with IB as the brokerage, than doing that over at TS.
It does surprise me that their documentation is so weak because .... bang for buck, they could probably grab and hold a lot of new customers by improving the overall user friendliness of their software and documentation.
Thanks for commenting everyone. This is exactly what we are thinking and that's what we are working on at the moment. Improving user friendliness, a Learning Center, Wiki, and documentation. Any suggestions as to the challenges that first time users face? My imagination is pretty good, but knowing MultiCharts inside and out has its drawbacks - it's difficult to imagine what it's like seeing it for the first time.
Would wizards help? If so, for what aspects of the program? Start up console? Video guides?
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One of the things I have really struggled with (until I found the TS manuals) was the really poor EasyLanguage doco in the online help. It has a limited subset of functions and formulas.
Also better documentation within the functions / indicators would be really appreciated, as these are some of the best examples of code, yet get obscured by poor coding practices (e.g. variable naming) and no inline comments.
I also find the EasyLanguage manuals good. I've read EasyLanguage Essentials, EasyLanguage Getting Started and EasyLanguage Reference Guide from front to back and I think I've got a good (basic) grip on EasyLanguage. I agree with you that the online help is somewhat limited and/or outdated.
I also agree that the indicators and functions supplied in MultiCharts could use comments - that would make them more readable and understandable, since I still also struggle with this. It’s great that, when you are proficient in EasyLanguage, certain code can be reduced to short statements, but for beginners this is not very clear. Comments can help a lot then.
Some things I've struggled with in the beginning / “still don’t know how to do but haven’t looked good at” are
Manually adding a symbol to the QuoteManager,
Understanding SetDollarTrailing and SetStopLoss,
Using global variables,
Importing data with a different time zone then mine,
More documentation about reserved words (for example VarSize, OnCreate, OnDestroy don’t have help entries),
Using a custom DLL.
I think more video tutorials would be a great idea, plus guides (in text) for setting up connections, adding symbols, etc. Those are more suited (in my opinion) for guides then videos, that way the user can, while experiencing connectivity issues quickly reference them.
How does MultiCharts evaluates strategies and submits orders?
Perform calculations and manipulations with DateTime in EasyLanguage,
Reading the DOM and anticipating potential short term moves,
Charting instruments in different ways to get a complete picture,
Entering manually while letting MC manage and exit the trade,
Using the Market Scanner to identify potential setups,
Drawing arrows/dots/etc with EasyLanuage,
Drawing trendlines with EasyLanguage and using these in order generation.
Besides these I think it would also be a good idea to just post answers to questions that the support gets asked often. Even if someone from MC Support every week writes two articles with a solution that otherwise would get emailed or communicated through the chat, over time you'll have an incredible knowledge base.
Please note: I’m not saying the documentation is seriously lacking in these areas or that these operations are difficult in MultiCharts, these are just some potential ideas for video tutorials as introduction and/or showing the features of MultiCharts.
Why not hold a monthly webinar with Q&A at the end? For example: 'Creating your first indicator', 'make a simple strategy' 'a session with real time data while charting and trading with the dom', etc. The way these are held here at futures.io (formerly BMT) is great - even for the users (such as me) who only watched recorded webinars.
Edit: My text formatting is somewhat messed up - so a different font (size) is not meant to emphasize certain points.
Last edited by Jura; June 27th, 2011 at 11:56 AM.
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I often hesitate recommending MultiCharts to more novice users, because I know I am on the hook for getting them set up if I do. Setting up MultiCharts for the first time is far more complicated to the novice than it should be.
This mainly stems from QuoteManager.
A wizard is needed:
Wizard: Do you want to setup some instruments?
Wizard: Select the data feed source
Wizard: Enter credentials
Wizard: Do you want to see a list of index futures to add? Do you want to see a list of NASDAQ stocks to add? etc etc etc. Show list.
Just thinking out loud, but everyone I know always has a lot of problems getting QuoteManager setup, and in fact several times people have just given up on MultiCharts without ever seeing it chart a single instrument.
NinjaTrader has it right in this area. The platform comes pre-configured with all major instruments already in the database, no one needs to "add" them at all.
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