Shared documentation system

Thomas Leonard tal00r at
Mon Dec 8 13:27:41 EET 2003

On Sun, Dec 07, 2003 at 09:37:35PM -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.

Well, since you asked (though I don't suppose it's very useful):

We store application documentation inside the applications, so we don't
need an indexing system (the same GUI object that runs the application
when clicked also offers a menu with Help on it). So, application help is
always with the application it describes, and the same mechanism is used
for organising both.

The Help menu item opens the directory containing the help files inside
the application (so you don't need to run any of the app's code to read
the help). All normal document formats are therefore supported. Plain text
and DocBook/HTML are the normal ones, and the normal file association
mechanisms are therefore used to set which programs to open them with.

Help that isn't attached to any application (HOWTOs, etc) just have their
own directory anyway, so you can put them in /Documentation/HOWTOs, etc
and access/search them via the normal filer interface, as with your other

What's wrong with using a web browser? It was stated in the first post
that 3rd parties tended to do this (with the implication that it was bad).
Users already understand their web browser, it can read lots of formats
(including DocBook and other XML formats using an XSLT stylesheet), it
works on the console or in a GUI, etc.

Thomas Leonard
tal00r at	tal197 at
GPG: 9242 9807 C985 3C07 44A6  8B9A AE07 8280 59A5 3CC1

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