[Lazarus] Building help files: the nitty-gritty

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.lazarus at telemetry.co.uk
Tue Jul 10 17:40:23 CEST 2012

Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
> On 10 July 2012 14:52, Mark Morgan Lloyd
> <markMLl.lazarus at telemetry.co.uk> wrote:
>> I normally build Lazarus from svn, targeting bigide, so I'm not sure that
>> instructions that tell me to download prebuilt binary .chm files are
>> relevant to me.
> I may be wrong, but as far as I know doing a 'make bigide' will not
> build the help files, just the LCL and IDE. Well that is how it works
> here with 0.9.30.x - I don't know if Lazarus Trunk has changed this.

You're right, but "bigide" explicitly includes ChmHelpPkg (i.e., if I 
understand things correctly, the various viewers) while "all" doesn't.

>> b)  What is the easiest way of integrating .chm files for the RTL etc., to
>> the extent that context-sensitive help works for things like Format()?
> See, that is where CHM help lags behind, and why I mentioned INF some
> time back. The way DocView integrates in the IDE (via the External
> Tools menu, and not as a compiled in help-interface to the IDE), I can
> get Object Pascal language help no problem. The CHM help (and the
> other compiled help-interface addons to Lazarus IDE) only works well
> for class / API help. The built-in Indexing and Full Text Search of
> INF help makes in a no-brainer to find the correct help topic from a
> keyword search.

Right, so stop crowing about it FFS and just say HOW TO DO IT. Then 
somebody else can come along and demonstrate that a .chm is no more 

>> Finally, if I just want to add a few lines of plain text as
>> context-sensitive help for a control or form, with the main documentation
> Which one is it? Control or Form?  If it's a Control, then it falls
> under the Class / API help, which means XML files must be edited.

So presumably that's where the (Lazarus) IDE's FPDoc editor comes into it?

> If it is a Form (as in application help describing a dialog in your
> application), then it's something else. For the latter case, I don't
> actually know what is the recommendation for application help with LCL
> based applications. For fpGUI based applications, it is an IPF
> plain-text file (the help source which gets compiled into binary INF
> help).

Noted, but I'm using Lazarus (and this /is/ the Lazarus mailing list, so 
please don't act all surprised :-)

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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