Shared documentation system

Shaun McCance shaunm at
Mon Dec 8 07:48:01 EET 2003

On Sun, 2003-12-07 at 22:50, Biju Chacko wrote:
> On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 21:37:35 -0600, Shaun McCance wrote:
> > On Sun, 2003-12-07 at 20:44, Murphy wrote:
> > > And, after all, we can't forget whatever GnuStep, etc
> > > help systems there are or may be in future.
> > 
> > Sorry, I meant to say something about this as well.  I'll admit I have
> > absolutely no idea what desktops other than GNOME and KDE are doing for
> > documentation, and I only have a vague idea of what KDE does.  People
> > from Rox, XFCE, GNUstep, and any other desktops should certainly throw
> > their thoughts in.
> XFce currently uses HTML documentation. xfhelp4 currently is just a wrapper
> script that launches the user's preferred web browser with the online manual.
> I'd say that, initially at least, our concern would be that the help system
> degrade gracefully when faced with a less capable help system. For example,
> until we have somebody to look into the problem more completely, we may just
> want to write a perl script (or something) use the standard to locate
> documentation and display it a ordinary webbrowser, perhaps losing the index
> and search capability in the process.

Yes, of course.  It would be pretty staight-forward to parse a metadata
file to find the preferred copy, based on the user's language setting,
and the fact that you only want to display HTML.  In fact, if you're
handing it off to a web browser, you needn't even ensure that the copy
is installed locally, provided you can assume network connectivity.

And a general note to anybody who's considering doing on-the-fly DocBook
to HTML conversions:  Yelp 2.5.0 introduces brand new XSLT which doesn't
use Norm Walsh's stylesheets.  They're really quite fast, because they
were designed to be so.  They're not complete at the moment, but anybody
is invited to use them if they wish.  This is free software. :)


More information about the xdg mailing list