[fpc-pascal] OS/2 INF help support

Graeme Geldenhuys graemeg at opensoft.homeip.net
Tue Sep 8 16:39:23 CEST 2009

Marco van de Voort het geskryf:
> 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,

With OS/2's help viewer I can do the following...

  view.exe lcl.inf rtl.inf fcl.inf

It will then combine all three "books" into one at runtime (no speed
loss what-so-ever). Now the Find, Index, Contents etc pages in the help
viewer contains all information from all books. No need for special
compiling them into a single big .inf file.

This was often done under OS/2 to give you a kind-of "virtual" bookshelf.

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

Something else OS/2's INF did, and I think Windows .HLP also did. The
application and help viewer can communicate with each-other at runtime.
So you can have something like a tutorial teaching somebody how to use
an application. They click a button on menu option as the help tutorial
described. As soon as the user clicked the appropriate option, the help
window advanced to the next page in the tutorial.

I have never seen this done in CHM help. Is this at all possible still?
This feature was often used under OS/2 and worked like a treat!

As far as I remember bookmarking and printing also worked much better
under OS/2 help than under Windows Help.

  - Graeme -

fpGUI Toolkit - a cross-platform GUI toolkit using Free Pascal

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