FAQ
It seems the Gods are proposing to distribute the documentation and help
for Python-2.3.1 in .chm form. I particularly detest .chm and much
prefer .html as it works across all platforms. 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 Guide 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.
--
Robin Becker

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  • Michael Peuser at Aug 30, 2003 at 10:14 am
    "Robin Becker" <robin at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:CDURXJA3QHU$EwUz at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk...
    It seems the Gods are proposing to distribute the documentation and help
    for Python-2.3.1 in .chm form. I particularly detest .chm and much
    prefer .html as it works across all platforms. 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 Guide 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.
    chm is more compact and nicely packaged. It in fact is basically nothing but
    html and you can unpack it if you want. There are lots of tools - look for
    arCHMage e.g. which is a Unix chm viewer and decompiler...

    Kindly
    Michael P
  • James Kew at Aug 30, 2003 at 12:13 pm
    "Robin Becker" <robin at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:CDURXJA3QHU$EwUz at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk...
    The argument is made that .chm is a better mechanism (more searchable
    indexable etc) for help/documentation than html. Is that really so?
    I've certainly found it so in the ActiveState distribution, which packages
    the Python docs, plus selected third-party docs -- win32all, Dive Into
    Python -- into a unified HTML Help package. Very, very handy to be able to
    quickly look things up in a common index, or search across the whole lot.

    (Still waiting for a 2.3 ActiveState distro, though...)

    James
  • Robin Becker at Aug 30, 2003 at 1:04 pm
    In article <biq4e9$bad2i$1 at ID-71831.news.uni-berlin.de>, James Kew
    <james.kew at btinternet.com> writes
    "Robin Becker" <robin at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:CDURXJA3QHU$EwUz at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk...
    The argument is made that .chm is a better mechanism (more searchable
    indexable etc) for help/documentation than html. Is that really so?
    I've certainly found it so in the ActiveState distribution, which packages
    the Python docs, plus selected third-party docs -- win32all, Dive Into
    Python -- into a unified HTML Help package. Very, very handy to be able to
    quickly look things up in a common index, or search across the whole lot.

    (Still waiting for a 2.3 ActiveState distro, though...)

    James
    the previous poster mentioned decompilers, can one then add other links
    and then recompile with such beasts?

    I like being able to down load someone's pdf slides on meta classes
    into python/doc/xtras and then add a link to them to the main help
    index. I am also fairly religious about not using IE.
    --
    Robin Becker
  • Bernard Delmée at Aug 30, 2003 at 10:37 pm

    the previous poster mentioned decompilers, can one then add other links
    and then recompile with such beasts?
    On Windows, just use the MS HTML Help Workshop:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId188
  • Bernard Delmée at Aug 30, 2003 at 10:47 pm

    I've certainly found it so in the ActiveState distribution, which packages
    the Python docs, plus selected third-party docs -- win32all, Dive Into
    Python -- into a unified HTML Help package. Very, very handy to be able to
    quickly look things up in a common index, or search across the whole lot.

    (Still waiting for a 2.3 ActiveState distro, though...)
    The pythlp.py script, available at:

    http://www.orgmf.com.ar/condor/pytstuff.html

    still seems to work fine for python 2.3
    It'll create an HTM Help project for you, incorporating all std docs,
    which you then need to compile to CHM using the HTML Help Workshop:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId188

    Cheers,

    Bernard.
  • Tim Peters at Aug 30, 2003 at 11:19 pm
    [Robin Becker]
    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+
    files.

    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
    platforms.
    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
    installer.
    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.
  • Lawrence Oluyede at Aug 31, 2003 at 12:13 am

    "Tim Peters" <tim.one at comcast.net> writes:

    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.
    Yeah, you're right, I recently switched from Win to Linux (cause I have to use
    Linux for job stuff) and the only thing that I really miss is something like
    chm compiled documentation. Now i have to use odd things like xCHM or the
    nicely-formatted arCHMage :((

    Mmm if I don't find something more useful i try to code a serious reader
    by my self :)

    --
    Lawrence "Rhymes" Oluyede
    http://loluyede.blogspot.com
    rhymes at NOSPAMmyself.com
  • JanC at Sep 1, 2003 at 2:48 am

    Lawrence Oluyede <raims at dot.com> schreef:

    Yeah, you're right, I recently switched from Win to Linux (cause I
    have to use Linux for job stuff) and the only thing that I really miss
    is something like chm compiled documentation.
    The wxWindows/wxPython helpviewer utility uses a subset of the MS HTML
    Workshop format:
    <http://wxwindows.org/manuals/2.4.1/wx21.htm#utilities>
    <http://wxwindows.org/manuals/2.4.1/wx499.htm#helpformat>

    For wxPython-version look in: site-packages/wxPython/tools

    --
    JanC

    "Be strict when sending and tolerant when receiving."
    RFC 1958 - Architectural Principles of the Internet - section 3.9
  • Logistix at Aug 31, 2003 at 6:39 pm
    Robin Becker <robin at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<CDURXJA3QHU$EwUz at jessikat.fsnet.co.uk>...
    It seems the Gods are proposing to distribute the documentation and help
    for Python-2.3.1 in .chm form. I particularly detest .chm and much
    prefer .html as it works across all platforms. 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 Guide 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.
    I don't think there is any intention to discontinue generation of
    HTML, PDF, and other formats of the documentation. You can currently
    get it here:

    http://www.python.org/ftp/python/doc/2.3/

    and presumably http://www.python.org/ftp/python/doc/2.3.1/ once it's
    released.

    They are just changing the Windows default install to provide standard
    Windows help files.

    Windows is currently the only platform where documentation is
    installed by default. A standard 'make && make install' on ohter
    doesn't do anything with the documentation. Everyone else has to
    download it anyways, or use the magical incantations necessary to
    generate it from the LaTeX source.
  • Iwan van der Kleyn at Aug 31, 2003 at 9:04 pm

    Tim Peters wrote:
    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+
    files.
    Great initiative. Are there any compiled CHM files available for 2.3,
    perhaps from other sources then PythonLabs?

    Regards,

    Iwan
  • Tim Peters at Aug 31, 2003 at 11:13 pm
    [Iwan van der Kleyn]
    Great initiative. Are there any compiled CHM files available for 2.3,
    perhaps from other sources then PythonLabs?
    You can visit my elaborate home page <wink>:

    http://home.comcast.net/~tim.one/
  • Michael Geary at Aug 31, 2003 at 11:34 pm

    Iwan van der Kleyn wrote:
    Great initiative. Are there any compiled CHM files available for 2.3,
    perhaps from other sources then PythonLabs?
    It's easy to make one using the tools and instructions that Bernard
    mentioned:

    http://www.orgmf.com.ar/condor/pytstuff.html

    and:

    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId188

    Just to help out until something more official shows up, I built a CHM file
    for Python 2.3 which you can get here:

    http://www.geary.com/Python/

    -Mike
  • Stephen Ferg at Sep 2, 2003 at 1:17 pm
    I built a CHM file for Python 2.3 ...
    Got it! Thanks mucho!
  • Jussi Jumppanen at Sep 1, 2003 at 1:27 am

    Iwan van der Kleyn wrote:

    Great initiative. Are there any compiled CHM files available
    for 2.3, perhaps from other sources then PythonLabs?
    Slightly off topic but still related to Windows help files :)

    You can also turn HTML files into the older Win32 WinHelp using
    this nice little tool:

    http://www.confluent.fr/javadoc/htmltohlpe.html

    Jussi Jumppanen
    Author of: Zeus for Windows (All new version 3.90 out now)
    "The C/C++, Cobol, Java, HTML, Python, PHP, Perl programmer's editor"
    Home Page: http://www.zeusedit.com
  • David Rushby at Sep 1, 2003 at 2:57 am
    Iwan van der Kleyn <none at none.net> wrote in message news:<3f5262ea$0$1667$e4fe514c at dreader3.news.xs4all.nl>...
    Great initiative. Are there any compiled CHM files available for 2.3,
    perhaps from other sources then PythonLabs?
    http://kinterbasdb.sourceforge.net/other/pystd_docs/py23docs.chm
  • Anton Vredegoor at Aug 31, 2003 at 10:19 pm

    "Tim Peters" wrote:
    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.
    OTOH this seems like a job for a Python script. It should be possible
    to do a search that locates all positions for all words in all files
    (maybe the files can be in a zipped archive) and store the result in a
    pickle. Probably what's needed is a dictionary and a list of file
    paths:

    the file path list( f.e. generated by a recursive path walk):

    [file1,file2, ....]


    the dictionary:

    {"python" : [(1,3),(1,18),(26,5)], "dictionary": [(3,5),...]}

    Where the first tuple (1,3) means the word "python" appears in the
    file that's in the file path list at index 1, at position 3 in the
    file.

    Next time open the pickle and do not repeat the whole search.

    Two problems:

    - what should the -tkinter?- user interface look like?
    - how to do an ascii-like search in a set of html-files (necessary for
    displaying the found lines in a tkinter widget) and still return a
    link for webbrowser.open("filename") with an offset to the found word
    position after the item is clicked, selected or whatever.

    One brainstorming idea:

    - maybe a split window with a tree-like structure in the left (the
    tree is pruned for the search term) and in the right a list of
    clickable lines from the selected files in the tree.

    Anton
  • Robin Becker at Aug 31, 2003 at 10:28 pm
    In article <mailman.1062285905.31279.python-list at python.org>, Tim Peters
    <tim.one at comcast.net> writes
    .....
    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.
    amazingly I still disagree, somehow I still prefer the html files.
    Perhaps I just hate IE.
    --
    Robin Becker
  • Jussi Jumppanen at Sep 1, 2003 at 1:37 am

    Robin Becker wrote:
    In article Tim Peters writes
    .....
    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.
    amazingly I still disagree, somehow I still prefer the html files.
    Perhaps I just hate IE.
    The CHM search-abilty is definitely a plus, but I am also have my
    resivations. In fact I think the WinHelp file format was a much
    better help system. The WinHelp view was much faster loading, less
    likely to crash and also just as easily searched. The original
    HtmlHelp viewer was a real step backwards in comparison.

    Grnated, the newer versions of the HTML viewer are more stable, but
    they are still very demanding in terms of system memory. Try using
    the Microsoft MSDN and watch your system grind to a halt :(

    Even today the Zeus Quick Help keywords searching is still a lot
    faster if the source of the keyword is a WinHelp file compared to
    a HtmlHelp file.

    Jussi Jumppanen
    Author of: Zeus for Windows (All new version 3.90 out now)
    "The C/C++, Cobol, Java, HTML, Python, PHP, Perl programmer's editor"
    Home Page: http://www.zeusedit.com

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