Re: Gnome Help Browser - Suggestions

On Sun, Aug 19, 2001 at 03:05:12PM +0800, Nicholas Curran wrote:
> I've been thinking about this for a while (a week),
> especially on displaying the help.  If anyone would
> like to either suggest better ideas, or tell me where
> I can put mine, go ahead.
> The following sections are the main part of my Big
> Idea (tm).
> * Gnome Intro
>   When people log in to GNOME for the first time, and need help, we
>   shouldn't have the help system buried away somewhere in the menu
>   system.  I feel we should have the browser start immediately, and
>   display this page, showing the GNOME User Guide, and other
>   introductory documentation.  In other words, help the user when they
>   most need help.

Providing it's easy to turn off after you've seen it once, this is a
very good suggestion.

> * GNOME Programs
>   New users will then wonder what `AbiWord' and `GEdit' do.  The
>   smarter ones will explore and find out, while the others will give
>   up or ask a friend.  A section which shows each GNOME application
>   for which documentation is installed, with a description, would be
>   handy.  They could even be allowed to start the application from the
>   browser.

My preference would be to keep the help browser simple -- just display
the docs. Although I suppose having a 'click here to launch' button as
part of the extra stuff it works out wouldn't be too bad.

> * GNOME Programming
>   Access to the programming documentation.  This is just to make it
>   easier for would be GNOME hackers to work out how to start, and
>   allow experienced hackers quicker and easier access.

You might want to look at the devhelp application at (I think), which does a lot of this stuff. A couple of us were
talking about doing this on #gnome a while ago and devhelp appeared
shortly afterwards, so maybe that was the result.

> * Info
>   Self explanatory
> * Man
>   Self explanatory
> When viewing GNOME documentation (done in SGML), it
> would be nice to have a toc and an index page, like
> the GIMP docs have.

Well, each doc should already generate a table of contents (as part of
the stylesheet transformation). Not sure about glossary or index (they
are a pain to mark up), although there should be a link to the GNOME
glossary from each document.

For an overall table of contents, we have scrollkeeper.

My point here is that the you get your last wish for free in GNOME 2 and
your second last wish almost for free (you need to download something).
Your first wish requires people to write documentation to describe the
things, so go for it. :-)


A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

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