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PaulBlay
March 1, 2009, 09:16
See:
- Help - Angband wiki (http://rephial.org/wiki/Help)
- Ticket #11 (http://trac.rephial.org/ticket/11)
- Thread written before I knew this ticket existed. :p (http://angband.oook.cz/forum/showthread.php?p=16304#post16304)

I would like to get some more details on what's being planned / done and some feedback from any interested users on this.

First thoughts.
I suspect the way help systems are handled depends greatly upon the operating system in question so I'm probably coming from a 'Windows bias' here.

[F1] for help
Is the Windows standard, I suppose. Using that I would expect a separate window to open up with the appropriate (to the current screen context) page open but also contents / index to the entire help system. Having the help window open should not interrupt or affect running of the main application. Given the multi-platform nature of Angband I suppose the contents of the help would be in html rather than any proprietary format.

Tooltips
'Mouse hover' over an area of the screen would produce a small (typically several lines) explanation of the feature touched. Tooltips can also include active links that go to the main help window at an appropriate page. They disappear when the mouse is moved.

So, are either or both of the above to be implemented and in what way? (as far as is known at this point)

takkaria
March 1, 2009, 11:30
My plans right now are pretty nonexistent, since I wrote the wiki page some time ago and I'm not planning on doing anything wrt help until 3.1.2, which means it's another quarter of a year away.

ATM, my thoughts are along the lines of in-game events like poison and potion-burning etc have help which comes up when they happen for the first time in a game (with the appropriate option set). How exactly this help comes up is something I'll figure out when I get to coding it. This would go hand-in-hand with a "what just happened?" command. UnAngband has something similar.

PaulBlay
March 1, 2009, 11:46
My plans right now are pretty nonexistent, since I wrote the wiki page some time ago and I'm not planning on doing anything wrt help until 3.1.2, which means it's another quarter of a year away.

ATM, my thoughts are along the lines of in-game events like poison and potion-burning etc have help which comes up when they happen for the first time in a game (with the appropriate option set). How exactly this help comes up is something I'll figure out when I get to coding it. This would go hand-in-hand with a "what just happened?" command. UnAngband has something similar.

ToME has a similar system as well.

I would call that something like "First-time event help for new players." and I suggest it would be well served by being a separate ticket (or redefining current one). "Help changes" appears rather all-inclusive.

The wiki page referred to included "# remove in-game, 'interactive' help" as one aim - I'm not sure quite what that refers to.

In another aim - "# convert Leon Marrick's helpfiles into nicely-done HTML" are those the *.txt files in /lib/help or does that refer to something else?

It may not get done by 3.1.2 but I would also like to see more in the way of local help (whether on 'mouseover', [F1] or '?' keypress). Perhaps that could be a 'future' action under a different ticket?

takkaria
March 1, 2009, 12:07
I would call that something like "First-time event help for new players." and I suggest it would be well served by being a separate ticket (or redefining current one). "Help changes" appears rather all-inclusive.

#11 is a tracker bug; it's there to keep track of all other help bugs. The context-help bug is #13.

The wiki page referred to included "# remove in-game, 'interactive' help" as one aim - I'm not sure quite what that refers to.

In another aim - "# convert Leon Marrick's helpfiles into nicely-done HTML" are those the *.txt files in /lib/help or does that refer to something else?

I plan to distribute help as HTML and PDF, and not as the text format currently used. Since I've no interest in writing a web browser for a terminal, I was going to remove the current text-based help. The second aim is now superceded by James Doyle's work to write a thorough guide on the wiki.

It may not get done by 3.1.2 but I would also like to see more in the way of local help (whether on 'mouseover', [F1] or '?' keypress). Perhaps that could be a 'future' action under a different ticket?

Yeah, stuff like that is on the agenda for some point in the future, possibly even 3.1.2. I don't know ATM; it's waiting until gameplay has settled down.

zaimoni
March 2, 2009, 04:31
I plan to distribute help as HTML and PDF, and not as the text format currently used. Since I've no interest in writing a web browser for a terminal, I was going to remove the current text-based help.I wonder how much effort would be needed to fork off a Lynx (http://lynx.isc.org/) rendering module.

(arches stripes)

It's certainly *not* a moving target.

Sean
March 4, 2009, 13:30
Has anyone looked at creating a help book for Mac OS X? I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to making those, but I'm tempted to give it a try. The only downside I can see is that it could lead to a need to maintain two sets of help content.

The main question would be, is there a demand for this, or is it desirable to add a feature that's really only applying to one platform?

PaulBlay
March 4, 2009, 14:55
Has anyone looked at creating a help book for Mac OS X? I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to making those, but I'm tempted to give it a try. The only downside I can see is that it could lead to a need to maintain two sets of help content.

The main question would be, is there a demand for this, or is it desirable to add a feature that's really only applying to one platform?

I think there is some question about what content will actually be included in the updated help system (at least I'm not sure about that :p ). It would probably be premature to do much now but it couldn't hurt to talk about it and flesh things out a little.

Sean
March 4, 2009, 21:18
I think there is some question about what content will actually be included in the updated help system (at least I'm not sure about that :p ). It would probably be premature to do much now but it couldn't hurt to talk about it and flesh things out a little.

I like the idea of having a basic introduction to the game, such as how to get started and a description of the Mac UI features. Since Mac users expect to see something in help, it could even be very basic help that refers users to the in-game system for now.

takkaria
March 5, 2009, 01:07
Has anyone looked at creating a help book for Mac OS X? I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to making those, but I'm tempted to give it a try. The only downside I can see is that it could lead to a need to maintain two sets of help content.

The main question would be, is there a demand for this, or is it desirable to add a feature that's really only applying to one platform?

OS X native help is something I'll be looking into.

Sean
March 5, 2009, 15:00
OS X native help is something I'll be looking into.

Woot! To the Amazon wish-list I go then, once my credit card is smoking a bit less.