Re: Dynamic help menus for 3.2

On Sun, 2011-10-09 at 17:23 -0400, Matthias Clasen wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 9:43 AM, Shaun McCance <shaunm gnome org> wrote:
> > I'd like to propose we push for better help menus and help buttons
> > in 3.4. This is something I've talked about for about two years now.
> > It's all part of the "more accessible help" big picture that we get
> > with Mallard.
> >
> >
> >
> Thanks for writing this down.
> I will say that there is some inherent tension between this feature and
> the 'Application Menus' feature, which is about simplifying menubars
> and moving the remaining items to the appmenu in the shell.
> Can't have smart help search in the menus if you don't have menus anymore...
> So maybe we need to figure out how we can provide better help in
> applications that don't have menus in their window - current examples
> are gnome-contacts and gnome-documents. Pop up a help search window
> when the user hits '?' ? Maybe...
> Other ideas ?

Yes, two ideas:

1) For some types of windows, a well-placed Help button can do the
trick just fine. I'm thinking control-center here. The help button
in my prototype can act as a menu button if there's more than one
matching page.

2) I was putting the API for querying the help in GIO, not GTK+.
I wanted it there exactly so that other non-GTK+ processes could
use it. An application could expose its help info to the shell,
and the shell could query the help. The interaction could be
something like this:

 * Click the application menu on the top bar.
 * Click the Help item.
 * The whole menu changes into a help menu, with dynamically
   populated entries, and a search field.

It might even be easier to do the search field in the help menu
in St than it is in GTK+.


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