It seems the Gods are proposing to distribute the documentation and
help for Python-2.3.1 in .chm form.
The volunteers who have, and will, build the PythonLabs Windows installers
(Mark Hammond, me, and now Thomas Heller) unanimously agreed that including
a .chm file in the 2.3.1 PythonLabs Windows installer would be more useful
to more people than continuing to ship 8.4MB of HTML docs spread over 1,200+
Many forms of the Python docs (including plain HTML) will continue to be
available for downloading by whoever wants other formats.
I particularly detest .chm and much prefer .html as it works across all
A .chm file will be included only in the Windows installer; a large pile of
HTML files will still be available, but won't be included in the Windows
Additionally by having a single index.html for all of the various bits of
Python help I can link in things like Pmw, PIL and Quick uide etc with a
simple text editor.
The argument is made that .chm is a better mechanism (more searchable
indexable etc) for help/documentation than html. Is that really so?
HTML is at least an open standard.
You cannot have used a properly constructed .chm file and seriously question
whether it's more searchable. Of course it is, including seemingly
instantaneous Boolean, proximity, wildcard, and similarity searches, across
the entire doc set with one query. I don't know of any way to search thru
more than a thousand .html files that's even arguably comparable; e.g., grep
is a slow & painful joke in comparison.