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Re: [cdt-dev] Help Books and Hover Help for CDT

Hello Roman,

thank you for your encouraging comments. I must admit I never looked into the 
JDT sources for the help system so I cannot tell the differences between CDT 
and JDT in this case. When discussing help system issues over the last year I 
got the feeling that tinkering with the ICHelpProvider interface and 
extension point is pretty much my hobby, nobody else is working on these 
things. The extension point is never used inside CDT except for the testing 
plug-ins and I have no evidence that anybody in the whole wide world is using 
these things ... except me :-)

Also CDT is under-staffed in this area of code so that it is even a little 
difficult to get a committer who can competently evaluate patches if they are 
submitted. So this is not to say that the improvements you are suggesting are 
not good ideas. It is just that there is currently nobody who can implement 
these things.

> from CHelpProvider were called. But then again it is
> not clear, where to fetch the help information from?
> Is it possible to get it efficiently from some sort of
> Help/ZIP/JAR/HTML docs similar to how it is done in

Yes, the result of the getHelpResources() function is essentially a list of 
URLs. The URLs should point to HTML files. If you have the files stored 
somewhere as part of your plug-in you must 

- determine the plug-in relative path to the help file from the function name 
for which help is requested. The plug-in relative path has a leading slash, 
e.g. "/htmlfiles/functionhelp.html"
- determine the URL for the path like so:

			Bundle b = Platform.getBundle(namespace); 
			URL url = Platform.find(b, new Path("/htmlfiles/functionhelp.html")); 

where namespace is your plug-in's id.

Wrap the URL in an ICHelpResourceDescriptor and return it.

> JDT for JavaDoc? Are there some classes that can do it
> for me? Or should I write my own implementation for
> it?

I do not know of any classes that will do it for you.

> But what wonders me is the fact, that CDT implements
> many of these Help related things very differently
> from JDT. Why? It would be much easier to use the

History reasons I guess. JDT was improved and CDT has not yet had the 
resources to follow.

> would be already enough to provide just an easy way to
> supply some help files in HTML/XML format (may be
> inside a JAR/ZIP file) via an extension point and the
> extended standard CDT functionality would
> automatically try to search for it there and

I am doing it for doxygen generated help at the moment. The idea is that I 
write some code once and then anybody who would submit documentation just 
needs to put his doxygen files in the right place.

But if you want to contribute a general "CDT-standard" solution then you'll 
have to provide a suggestion which can be accepted by a broad majority of 
users. I suggested doxygen format once and this was not so broadly accepted. 
Maybe you have a better idea. It's not for lack of openness, it's more for a 
lack of resources that such things are not in place.

And btw it's a little easier for the Java people because the JavaDoc format is 
part of the language standard.

> What do you think about such kind of extension point
> and about the attempts to unify JDT and CDT help
> systems code?

Just wonderful, if you can find somebody who will do it :-)



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