Re: gnome-help (yelp) and info/manual pages

Shaun McCance wrote:

On Mon, 2004-12-06 at 10:00 +0100, Toralf Lund wrote:
Shaun McCance wrote:

On Fri, 2004-12-03 at 19:07 +0100, Toralf Lund wrote:

After upgrading to Fedora Core 3 w/ GNOME 2.8, I can no longer use commands like

yelp info:cat


gnome-help man:cat

to display info or manual pages. Why?
In Gnome 2.6, the document transformation system was changed in Yelp.
This resulted in much faster and nicer DocBook conversions, which is
Yelp's primary purpose.  The existing man and info converters weren't
using the new transformation system, so they were disabled.

Is this mentioned in the release notes???

Did you look?
Of course I did...
December/msg00008.html [ etc ]

This has been discussed to death in every web forum, mailing list, IRC
channel, newsgroup, barber shop, and coffee house on our planet and
I admit I didn't follow the mailing lists etc. closely. Those aren't the *release notes*, though. These are the ones:

The most relevant part is the "changes" section, I'd say, i.e.

And I can't find anything about the lack of support for info or man pages, or *anything* about "yelp", there.

The number of people who have complained about this is staggeringly
high.  Apparently, people want their man pages back more than they'd
like something modern, like full search capabilities.

Maybe people would rather have some (any) way to display the information actually on the system, than a modern way of accessing data that doesn't exist? I would guess that at least 90% of the documentation on a typical installation is in info or man-page format...

The primary design goal of Yelp is to allow you to view the help files
for the graphical programs you run on your desktop.  Anything else is
just pudding.

Why aren't you complaining to the maintainers of man that it can't view
the DocBook files that Gnome installs?
Don't know. Perhaps because the system sort of suggests that yelp, unlike man, is the application that gives me all the help I need, in the sense that there is one button called Help and yelp it pops up when I press it?

But I understand the argument about the spec of Yelp, of course; maybe what I'm missing is (or should have been) strictly speaking a different app.

I also think making it "modern" is not a good design goal, but maybe I put too much meaning in your choise of words. I mean, I want something that *works*; I don't care what the current fashion is...

It's not about buzzword-compliance.  It's about providing truly useful

Good ;-)

 Searching is useful to everybody.  It's useful to you, it's
useful to me, it's useful to my mother.  Man pages are useful to you.
I maintain that searching is only useful if there is actually something to search, if you know what I'm saying.

Man pages aren't particularly useful to me as such, but being able to view them when they are the only documentation available, obviously is. And I think your mother would agree...

At the current rate of development, it's likely that man pages will be
enabled for 2.10, but info probably will not.

I would much rather have it the other way around. Man pages can easily be displayed in many other ways, but I don't really have a good info browser besides the gnome-help system (the console info app is a lot more cumbersome to use, and so is the emacs interface.)

Then I suggest you either open emacs and start hacking, or vote for info

Actually, what I think I really want is some sort of general support for registration of new protocols like "man:" and "info:", in a way that would work with all browsers. I'm thinking about how it may be done...

 I am a volunteer.  I put in a lot of time as a volunteer.  But
there is absolutely no way that I alone can do everything in time for
2.10.  It's simply not possible.
I didn't complain about the lack of volunteer work, though; in this partilicular instance I was saying that there was too much of it, I think, in the sense that something that was there had been removed.

But you are right, there were other aspects of the help browsers that could use an update, too...

- T

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