Newb/learner floundering

When I say newb, I have in fact developed a couple of minor apps which use the most basic aspects of creating an ES index and then searching it (in Python).

The resource I might naturally expect to go to, with v 7.16 currently, is the online guide to 7.16. But during the "getting started" section it launches headfirst into "timerange", "get runtime fields from unstructured content", and at the end says "delete your test data stream and its backing indices". I have used bulk POSTs, but I don't know anything about "data streams" and I am utterly baffled by all this stuff, not least because none of it is explained. Isn't the idea of a Guide to explain?

I also have the last PDF version of the "Definitive Guide". This is indeed designed for beginners, but the version it covers is 2.x. Virtually every example now fails if you try it in v7 (or v8 still more, I imagine).

Even this forum I find more baffling than any forum I have previously used: is there only one forum? Or is there a place where beginners/low intermediates are expected to go? Or does it just work with tags? Again, NO EXPLANATIONS.

All this dearth of explanation is quite ironic in view of the fact that Elasticsearch's primary claim is that it transforms amorphous, opaque data into useful information.

Given that I find the 7.16 online guide clearly designed deliberately to be far too cryptic and lacking in clarity for a low-level person like myself, does anyone know of any other way of getting to grips with ES (by which I mean specifically Elasticsearch, not the "Elastic Stack", which is obviously a concept I need to understand one day, but arguably not now, when I simply want to learn Elasticsearch).


Welcome to our community! :smiley: Sorry to hear it hasn't been an ideal start though.

I have passed your feedback onto our internal getting started working group, so hopefully they can use that to adjust the planned changes and take these things into account.

Specifically though;

The idea is;

  • Our individual products that make up the Stack get a category
  • Our solutions that are built out of those get a category
  • Other bits and pieces

The idea being if you have a question about "how do I do X with Elasticsearch", then you'd ask in the Elasticsearch category.

Does that make sense?

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Thanks for getting back to me.

I think I understand the situation a bit better now. And I urge you to do something about the "Quick start" section of the online manual (this was for 7.16, but I presume it's the same for later versions).

Someone at my level (or lower) gets completely bamboozled by the sheer weight of technical info being thrown at them from the start. I have found that the only approach is to skip through many, many pages, to do with shards, load-balancing, etc.

Because it turns out that the "basic info" as found many years ago in the Definitive Guide, is still there (after making any necessary changes as required to update to version 7 or 8), but you have to search it out.

Something as simple, for example, as the different data types: Field data types | Elasticsearch Guide [7.16] | Elastic ... this page comes after the "Setup Elasticsearch" and the "Index Modules" subsections, both of which are daunting in the extreme... until I learnt to just skip extremely advanced stuff.

I think you should probably give a simpler example of what ES can do in the "Quick start" section, but even if you leave what you presently have there, I think a message in large bold font about "skipping through this guide when you come across things you don't understand" would have helped me.


Yep understood. There's a few people that'll be watching this topic for your feedback, so thank you heaps for taking the time to share it :smiley:


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