Help files


#1

Hi forum,

I am looking to have some form of help file/technical documentation to
go alongside a GUI application. Basically on the click of a button (help
button) a file will be opened in its native viewer eg adobe reader for a
PDF file.

What is the best way to perform such a task in ruby, I am quite flexible
as to the format of the help file either a PDF or compiled html.

Many thanks


#2

On Mar 8, 2009, at 13:17, Stuart C. wrote:

I am looking to have some form of help file/technical documentation to
go alongside a GUI application. Basically on the click of a button
(help
button) a file will be opened in its native viewer eg adobe reader
for a
PDF file.

What is the best way to perform such a task in ruby, I am quite
flexible
as to the format of the help file either a PDF or compiled html.

Don’t most GUI frameworks have a built in API for displaying help
documentation?


#3

Stuart C. wrote:

Hi forum,

I am looking to have some form of help file/technical documentation to
go alongside a GUI application. Basically on the click of a button (help
button) a file will be opened in its native viewer eg adobe reader for a
PDF file.

What is the best way to perform such a task in ruby, I am quite flexible
as to the format of the help file either a PDF or compiled html.

It depends how sophisticated you want to get. If you simply want to
display a PDF with help on a button being clicked, then pretty much any
GUI should be able to do that. Call Ruby’s system with ‘start’ [Windows]
‘open’ [OS X] or ‘xdg-open’ [Linux] and the name of the file, eg

system “open myhelp.pdf”

If you want a more sophisticated help browser - eg context-specific
links to sections from the GUI, searching, using the native Windows CHM
help browser, see something like:

http://wxruby.rubyforge.org/doc/#online_help

Esp HelpController / HtmlHelpController. As Eric says, I’d expect the
other heavyweight GUI toolkits (GNOME2, Qt) to offer something similar,
though I couldn’t find a reference to this for GNOME2.

alex


#4

Thanks Alex. Really useful. I have been messing around with Lauchy this
afternoon which may do the job, but I will check out your link.

Regards

Alex F. wrote:

Stuart C. wrote:

Hi forum,

I am looking to have some form of help file/technical documentation to
go alongside a GUI application. Basically on the click of a button (help
button) a file will be opened in its native viewer eg adobe reader for a
PDF file.

What is the best way to perform such a task in ruby, I am quite flexible
as to the format of the help file either a PDF or compiled html.

It depends how sophisticated you want to get. If you simply want to
display a PDF with help on a button being clicked, then pretty much any
GUI should be able to do that. Call Ruby’s system with ‘start’ [Windows]
‘open’ [OS X] or ‘xdg-open’ [Linux] and the name of the file, eg

system “open myhelp.pdf”

If you want a more sophisticated help browser - eg context-specific
links to sections from the GUI, searching, using the native Windows CHM
help browser, see something like:

http://wxruby.rubyforge.org/doc/#online_help

Esp HelpController / HtmlHelpController. As Eric says, I’d expect the
other heavyweight GUI toolkits (GNOME2, Qt) to offer something similar,
though I couldn’t find a reference to this for GNOME2.

alex