Help Needed (with help file)

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Renier
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Help Needed (with help file)

Post by Renier » Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:01 pm

As I've said before on the forums, my time available to spend on PopTray has decreased a lot. Therefore I'm looking for a volunteer to update the help file with the new stuff in PopTray 3.1 (RegExp, Rule Rows, etc). It really should be updated before PopTray 3.1 can be released from beta.

Any volunteers (who can write in English)?

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Rdsok
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Post by Rdsok » Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:28 am

Renier,

I would happily try and assist you with the help files if you wish me to. While I have almost no experience creating help files, HTML files are second nature to me. I already have downloaded the MS HTML Help Workshop (again), decompiled the current help file that came with PopTray 3.1b6, created a project file from the resulting decompiled files and have familiarized myself a little with the basics of using MS HTML Help Workshop. Since I can already add headings, pages and search indexes, I don't think I'll have any trouble with it.

I believe the following would be helpful if they are available or are easy enough to create.

1.) A change log (ie changes from 3.03 to 3.1) so I don't miss a new item or feature. (I would hate to miss something I may have already overlooked.)

2.) A basic summary of what you want or expect. You may also want to include a list of items you don't want changed. For instance, I would assume you would want to keep the current look and style of the help file as it is (I wouldn't mind changing that if you wanted it, but that was just an example).

3.) Your wish list of changes you would like to see but just haven't already had time to implement.

4.) Any wish list of changes or additions that may have been suggested by users and that you want to see added to the current help system.

5.) Any other info you may want to give me. Basically, tell me what you would do if you had the time to do it yourself and don't hold back. If I can't do something, I'm not shy and I'll tell you and will welcome any input.

When finished, I will provide you with a compiled .chm file as well as all the source .htm, .css, .hhp, .hhk and .hhc files. If I add new images, I'll also provide those sources as well, probably as .jpg's or .gifs for size considerations.

I'll also PM you with my personal email address instead of the public address that I used when I signed up on the forum. I would prefer you use that email instead because I have direct control over its spam settings. If you wish to use the forum's PM, that would be ok also, I just like to saving project conversations locally if possible.

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Renier
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Post by Renier » Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:12 am

Thanks Rdsok,

You've been very helpful answering people on the forum, and I was hoping you'd volunteer. I'll just answer your questions here.

If you already know HTML, writing CHM files should be easy enough. The only extra thing you have to do is create the index words.

1) The change log is available as History.txt in the PopTray directory, and also on the PopTray website.

2) Don't change the look.

3) Adding the new options, new rules rows and of course your RegExp guide.

4) Maybe more FAQs? also for the Website.

5) You might also have to take new screenshots (not sure about help file). I would prefer XP screeshots. But maybe even new screesnshots for the website will be needed.

PS, also add your own name to the helpfile, to acknowledge your effort.

Thanks.

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Rdsok
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Post by Rdsok » Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:52 pm

Ok,

I'll probably start gathering info for the updates this weekend.

1) I looked all over for that darn change log, except in the main program directory. For some reason I had it in my head that it was with the source files. :oops:

2) I had assumed that one, from a recent discussion about the website.

3) The RegExpr Guide is Vitoco's guide, I'm just linking to it. I was going to link to several common answer issues in the forum, but ran up against the 256 char limit real fast. (The Removing Parasitic Software like virus's, spyware and adware was mine though.)

4) Love those FAQ's, shouldn't be any problem, I'll check the format on the web and compare it to the help file and try and make the proper changes if needed.

5) Screenshots will be no problem, the next program you create, do it for the blind then you don't have to mess with screenshots. :wink:

Ok, if I have to put my name on it I will, if for no other reason, you can point to me when all of our forum users are screaming about the obvious plagerism. :lol:

I will also try to be complete but brief with my explainations. I'll have to watch it so I won't get too wordy a common problem I have.

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vitoco
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Post by vitoco » Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:12 am

I´m not able to write a doc in right English, but I can beta-test your proposal, specially the RegExp chapter.

If you want, I can translate it into spanish ;-)

BTW, the RegExp manual took me too much time to write in English, and unpublished parts 5 and 6 of it have gone inside an accidentally deleted directory (of course I noticed many days after), and I never tried to begin them again.

++Vitoco

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Rdsok
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Post by Rdsok » Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:20 am

I will probably save the RegExpr help for last. I want to get the rest of the help up to the current beta before I start creating new chapters.

I am curious if it would be ok for me to use some of your current RegExpr info that you've posted in the forum. While there may be some rewording etc, I think it would be nice if the two shared a same feel or at least the possibly the same order for the instructions.

I'll contact you when I get something else to look at. I'll certainly welcome additional opinions of it when I get there.

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Bateman
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Post by Bateman » Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:20 pm

Just out of interest after reading vitoco's post:
Are there any plans for an internationalised version of the help file? That would come in quite handy for many users on the one hand but regarding the amount of time necessary to translate it, I'm not sure if all translators are able to find the time - just in case there might be plans :wink:

BTW, thanks Rdsok for volunteering!

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quosego
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Post by quosego » Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:38 pm

After reading reniers request for assistance i realized that making the helpfile up-to-date is a job that has to be done by a native english speaking poptray fanatic.
So rdsok is the rught guy for the job.

Translating the helpfile from scratch would be quite a job, but if there are several translators among us who feel that a localized help benefits PT i am happy to join for my language.

BTW, Renier what is your opinion in this matter?

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Rdsok
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Post by Rdsok » Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:53 pm

quosego wrote:native english speaking poptray fanatic
Hey ... I resemble that remark.. :D

After I get the basic help file updated and then add the additional info needed for the new options like RegExpr. I'll take the time to convert it into a straight text file.Then the translators would have access to the text to convert it into their language without having to look through the HTML to find it. Then all that would be needed would be to cut and paste the info back into a help html format and have the translators verify the final help file.

I think an internationalized version would be great (though I'd have to learn how to build it.. :? ), but it would also incur a considerable size increase. A fully internationalized help file may end up being larger than the whole Poptray program :o . I'll leave that decision to Renier after we see how big the one language file ends up being.

I do believe that adding even just a basic tutorial for the RegExpr's will add quite a bit to the size of the help file. I'm thinking of optimizing the current code to help minimize this increase. This will require that I almost rewrite the code and still try and maintain the look at the same time. I'll move as much formating into the CSS code and then may end up using a few little tricks like Javascript based includes for the common elements to help cut the size down as much as possible. In case the tutorial ends up making the help file to large, I'll plan on making three versions side by side, one with just the basic info, one with a seperate tutorial file and one combined together with the tutorial. Again, Renier can decide which one he would like to include.

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