[Lazarus] Building help files: the nitty-gritty

Graeme Geldenhuys graemeg.lists at gmail.com
Tue Jul 10 18:39:05 CEST 2012


On 10 July 2012 16:40, Mark Morgan Lloyd
<markMLl.lazarus at telemetry.co.uk> wrote:
> You're right, but "bigide" explicitly includes ChmHelpPkg (i.e., if I
> understand things correctly, the various viewers) while "all" doesn't.

As far as I understand it, that simply registers CHM help with the
IDE, and gives the IDE a default location of where to find LHelp. And
with newer Lazarus IDE versions, the IDE will automatically try to
compile LHelp if the executable doesn't exist. This still doesn't
compile/generate any of the CHM help files themselves.

> 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 difficult.

:-)  I've explained this many times before, and then created a web
page to stop repeating myself.


I have to add that when DocView does a keyword search, it uses an
advanced search result algorithm and rating system, to try and make a
"best match". It even does spelling variations to the keyword. So I
believe this helps a lot in the result DocView gives after pressing

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

Correct. But remember, that when you add comments, they become part of
the documentation. You cannot disable or switch off "user added
comments" at a later date.

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

I know that all too well. :)

My question still stands though. I don't know what is the
recommendation for "application help" with LCL based applications. eg:
I create a new project which is a new Programming Editor. I want to
supply a end-user help file with my binary - like all good software
does. What help file format do I use (as the developer of that
product), and how do I create/edit that help file?

Now if you tell me CHM, that means I need to ship LHelp with my
product because Linux & Mac users don't have CHM help viewers out of
the box. But what is the source help format for CHM, and what tools
(help editor) do I use to edit that source format, and what tool do I
use to "compile" that source help format into the end result CHM file?
Also, how does my product know where to find LHelp (or whatever CHM
viewer I want to use)?

  - Graeme -

fpGUI - a cross-platform Free Pascal GUI toolkit

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