Re: Help System

On 19 Feb 2001 12:39:03 -0600, Tom Musgrove wrote:
> What are the future plans for the Help system?  Is there a team that is
> currently working on it/planning to work on it?  Are there any collaborative
> efforts planned with KDE, Mozilla, and other groups that have significant
> Help needs?

The GNOME 1.4 plans for the help system are mainly:
1) Ditch gnome-help-browser
2) Use DocBook SGML/XML docs on the fly
3) Use ScrollKeeper for documentation metadata
4) Use mozilla to render help (nobody has taken the initiative to get 
   gtkhtml to work within Nautilus)

One of the major collaborative efforts in the 'Documentation' world was
the creation of ScrollKeeper. It was written by Laslo Kovacs (from SUN)
by Dan Mueth (GDP leader). Almost every person from every single project
agreed ScrollKeeper was a necessary project to undertake and they
participated in the discussions (people from KDE, SCO, FreeBSD, GNOME,
Sun, LDP - just to mention a few projects).

Right now Nautilus uses a 'gnome-help:' URI to detect documentation
(we can't use a 'generic' URI scheme such as 'help:' since it is not

Anyway, right now we only support GNOME docs, but in the future KDE docs
could be supported (in the much LATER future we will just use
to get access to ALL/ANY docs found on the system (whether from GNOME,
KDE, or LDP, or whatever), you could even access docs from the net

Anyway, for the short-term somebody could either add a 'kde-help:' URI
then hack the help sidebar to detect KDE docs and populate it.

Alternatively, you could just hack the 'help-method.[ch]' files to also
search the
KDE dirs when searching for a doc (if KDE installs OMF files (using
the help sidebar should detect them automatically).

Don't expect to see any of this anytime soon though because people have
other priorities right now and nobody has volunteered for this task.
Ideally though,
we should all just wait a little bit for scrollkeeper to develop and for
KDE to start
using OMF files.

Another step we want to go in the future of the GDP is to migrate to
DocBook XML.
We will use gnome-db2html2 to generate the HTML on the fly (Die Jade,
Die!). We
are hoping that one day we will be able to just use DocBook XML +
DocBook XSL
to generate the help stuff on the fly but that is a while off (due to
the parsing speed
of XSL). Theoretically someday mozilla will able to handle this


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