The Help System

We are finding that a normal website can be effective as a help system. It can exist on the hard drive for off-line access and it can be accessed on the internet enabling it to be constantly updated for the newest requests for clarification. In fact, the next implementation of the Phoenix help system will enable the user to specify whether he/she wishes to get "help" on the local machine or from the web.

The following are notes to help us remember how to implement the help system.

  1. pvHelp ValidityCheck dvValidityCheck were implemented today, 8/8/03. pvHelp determines the hardwired file reference for each cell while fmGug_Make is being created by fmPVP_Make. onHelp executes "RunFile help" where "help" is that file name compiled in fmGug_Make by fmPVP_Make. ValidityCheck & dvValidityCheck are not involved in the compiling but are called by 'onEditEnd' 'ValidityCheck'. Since they are APL functions, they can not only do their ValidityCheck job but are also able to perform whatever context sensitivity analysis is desired. My conclusion is that the 'onEditEnd' 'ValidityCheck' treatment would be a much better way to provide help because of that possibility for context sensitivity. Davin says the next implementation of "help" can do this. (8/9/03)
  2. If the []WI 'help' property is a nested matrix, then it assumes it's organized by rows & columns matching the grid. But if that same property is instead assigned a simple character vector, then that string defines a single help file for the entire grid. Not setting the []WI 'help' property on the grid at all, but setting it for the parent form instead, will cause it to be fired anywhere on the form (including the title area).

We were partway towards using Adrian's help system. Here's text where that stopped. Content for all DevPlan, qkw, bzp and pvmm systems is stored in a certain structure (qkwStr, M3M, M1M, etc.) A function called HelpPrep has been written to convert any of these pvmm source files into text files and a Dyalog file to be compiled by Adrian's help system compiler. It is hoped that a seamless connection will be created between the pvmm source files and a completed help system.

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