[Lazarus] Building help files: the nitty-gritty

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Sat Aug 18 18:31:15 CEST 2018

On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 05:39:05PM +0100, Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
> > 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?

There is no cross platform helproduct, so that way you are fcked.

> 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.

They have no decent help system out of the box. Seems the lowest common
denomitor is plain html, which I would avoid.

The best route would be to create some fphttpserver that serves up chm
content, but I don't know the FPC webcomponents enough for that.

> But what is the source help format for CHM

For non API chms ?  html + some index and project files.

> and what tools (help editor) do I use to edit that source format

It is called an "html editor". Some people rough it though, and use a "text"
editor. Holy wars have been fought

> and what
> tool do I use to "compile" that source help format into the end result CHM
> file?

chmcmd, included with FPC since 2.2.x

> Also, how does my product know where to find LHelp (or whatever CHM viewer
> I want to use)?

As said, that is not a CHM issue, but a "state of linux help" issue.

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