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Re: [patch #7692] Gui Documentation / Online Help

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: [patch #7692] Gui Documentation / Online Help
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2011 21:51:22 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)

John Darrington <address@hidden> writes:

> Regarding recent discussions about Online Help.  This patch
> shows one way we can achieve it without radical changes.
> It uses the existing user manual to document the dialog boxes
> - screenshots included. It then hooks onto the Help button on
> the dialog to start the Yelp browswer at the respective change.
> Yelp 2.30 is rather slow, and starts a new instance for each
> click instead of moving any existing instance to the wanted page.
> But I'm told these problems are fixed in version 3.0
> At the same time, the manual, complete with screenshots are
> still available in the Postscript, PDF and DVI formats.
> There are however some new external dependencies - Imagemagick
> to convert the screenshots to all the required formats. And
> there are some GNU specific Makefile constructs. 
> I have an idea, which if it works, will allow the screenshots
> to be automatically generated from the .ui files.  That will
> avoid the problem I see with a lot of GUI manuals where the
> GUI changes too rapidly for the documentation to keep up.
> I'm not claiming the actuall text that I've written here to be 
> good example of how to write documentation. But it shows the 
> principle.
> Comments?

I like the approach and the idea very much.

The new dependency on gmake is a bit frustrating.  I think that
$(patsubst %.xwd,%.eps,$(doc_pspp_images)) can be portably
written as $(doc_pspp_images:.xwd=.eps) but I don't see a good
way to avoid the "export" directive.  Oh well (but we should at
least document the requirement).

I didn't try it out.

Let's give it a shot!
Ben Pfaff

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