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How to interpret entries in documentation's left pane

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FM
FM on 23 Sep 2020 at 20:47
Commented: FM on 25 Sep 2020 at 14:14
Can anyone please explain how to interpret the entries in the left pane of the Matlab documentation? I am specifically referring to those entries *under* the "Category" header. The attached figure shows an example. The page itself is entitled "Get Started with MATLAB Compiler SDK". It makes sense that this entry is bolded in the left pane. What do the entries below that represent? They don't seem to correspond to links in the help page. Neither are they a browsing history. There is a rough correspondence between the entries in the left pane and the links on the page, but the titles differ, as do the webpages pointed to.
The reason I'm trying to figure this out is because I'm trying to spin-up in this area. There are many web pages, and I'm trying to draw a map of what pages cite what other pages. Hopefully, this will give an idea a good order in which to read them and establish the concepts. If I just map out which pages link to which other pages, it seems hierarchical. An optimum ordering isn't quite as easy to infer as it would be for sequential pages, but at least there is a structure.
The presence of the entries in the left pane complicates this because they only roughly correspond to the links on the page being viewed. Some entries, such as "Package MATLAB Functions" above, don't even have a corresponding link on the page being viewed. It's almost as if there were parallel sets of similar but not identical information pages, which is a bit discomforting. It would be better if there was a single authoritative set of documentation.

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Accepted Answer

Stephen Cobeldick
Stephen Cobeldick on 23 Sep 2020 at 22:26
Edited: Stephen Cobeldick on 23 Sep 2020 at 22:41
"What do the entries below that represent?"
They list all other page headings that are at the same level in the current Contents location (which is Documentation Home -> MATLAB Compiler SDK in your example). The fact that they are "below" has no significance other than you happened to have selected the first page from that list (in fact they are at exactly the same Contents level as your currently selected/highlighted page).
"It would be better if there was a single authoritative set of documentation."
There is: the Contents on the LHS contains all pages in the documentation.
Any page on the RHS, even one entitled "Get Started with...", will only link to whatever its author thought was relevant to that particular page, which don't even have to be in the same toolbox/feature (e.g. the link Supported Hardware and Software goes to a page which is not part of the MATLAB Compiler SDK section). They are simply linked by relevance to a particular topic or task.
A good rule of thumb:
  • use the LHS Contents to browse what MATLAB can do, what features it offers.
  • use the RHS page links to browse how to perform a particular task.

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More Answers (2)

the cyclist
the cyclist on 23 Sep 2020 at 22:30
In that left-hand pane, the following pages are at the same "level of the documentation hierarchy":
  • Get Started with MATLAB Compiler SDK
  • Package MATLAB functions
  • C Shared Library Integration
  • <and so on>
That level of the hierarchy is one below "MATLAB Compiler SDK". If you click on that link, you will see that hierarchy more clearly.
The reason that "Package MATLAB Functions" doesn't appear in the right-hand pane of the current page is that it is the next page after "Get Started ..." -- not a part of it. The fact that some of the same terms appear is semi-coincidental, because the page you are looking at is an overview, partly looking ahead at the topics to come.
I'm really curious what the endgame of this quest is. What's your goal?

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FM
FM on 25 Sep 2020 at 14:14
I wish there was a way to accept more than one answer, as both answers are immensely helpful. Both microsoft.answers and stack exchange allow multiple answers. I think mozilla forums might also.

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FM
FM on 23 Sep 2020 at 22:55
Thank you both, Stephen Cobeldick and "the cyclist". That helps a lot. That fact that there are "peer" pages, and they are actually ordered, will help immensely. I like the abbreviated ToC pictured in my posted question, though I appreciate that I can see the expanded ToC by clicking on (say) "Matlab Compiler SDK".
The end game for my quest is to wrap a Matlab function for invocation by Java. This is complicated by the fact that I am not a Java programmer. Based on one of the pages I've browsed [1], the JDK has to be compatible with the version of Java in the Matlab installation. One disparity that I anticipate is that destination system that will invoke the function will have used its own Java version.
Another puzzlement is that the above link [1] says to get one's JDK from OpenJDK, yet the `version -java` in Matlab indicates that it comes with an Oracle Java.
I suspect that the above 2 paragraphs represent topics for new questions here, but if they can be responded to here, I'd appreciate it.
Thanks again!
[1] https://www.mathworks.com/help/compiler_sdk/ml_code/configure-your-java-environment.html

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