[fpc-pascal] OS/2 INF help support

Marco van de Voort marcov at stack.nl
Tue Sep 8 15:07:56 CEST 2009

In our previous episode, Graeme Geldenhuys said:
> Marco van de Voort het geskryf:
> > 
> > Or maybe because it cached the search index to disk, like most helpfiles.
> As far as I can see, from reading various INF docs is that the IFP
> Compiler generates the index and keywords at compile-time and are built
> into the single .INF files. 

That's something that CHM does too, and nearly any format. I'm talking about
when you press F1 in the IDE and those indexes must be combined in the IDE,
and a popup must be shown if there are multiple entries over various files.

> Also every single word only appears once in the INF files, all other
> instances are simply pointers. So this increases the lookup speed a lot as
> far as I can see. I guess this contributes to the size factor as well. The
> VisualAge C++ for OS/2 Users Guide is 1300 pages (with screenshots) and
> the INF file is only 4.5MB in size! God knows how they managed that!

The entire FPC docs + the Lazarus LCL together is 10MB in CHM. (with the LCL
chm being 40% or so of that number) You have been printing it, so you know
the number of pages.

Note that this is without the binary TOC that Andrew implemented last night.
(and the binary index still yet to come I hope)

I'm not yet entirely convinced what the interesting part of the .INF stuff
is, what CHM doesn't provide.

> PS #2:
> I found the source code for Sibyl IDE which contains a GUI help viewer
> (NewView) implemented in Object Pascal (I think it's Free Pascal
> Compiler compatible).

Don't forget licensing issues. Also keep in mind that portable editors and
generators for HTML are plenty. What about .INF? Is there a Latex2inf?

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