[Python-Dev] Searching Python docs (Was: Python sidebar for Mozilla/Netscape)

Fred L. Drake, Jr. fdrake@acm.org
Fri, 5 Apr 2002 21:37:15 -0500

Guido van Rossum writes:
 > Speak for yourself.  I prefer the HTML that I can view in a browser of
 > my choice any time over MS's clumsy help browser.

HTML Help != WinHelp.  WinHelp is the older and incredibly painful
thing I suspect you're referring to.  HTML Help is actually pretty

 > I strongly doubt that the *format* we use to provide the docs makes
 > much of a difference.

The HTML Help browser is substantially better than browsing a bunch of
HTML files, primarily because of the index and full text search.

 > > (2) In two application development shops with which I am engaged,
 > > the main application runs on a large Unix box, but the developers'
 > > and DBAs' workstations are Windows (2000) PCs -- is this atypical?
 > I've never seen it, but I suppose I'm atypical. :-)

David Abrahams writes:
 > *Strongly* disagree. As someone who doesn't know where everything is
 > using docs where many things are in the wrong place, having built-in
 > fast searching is absolutely essential for my work. I can just imagine

Yep.  The regular revival of threads about the need for better ways to
access the documentation certainly indicates we need to improve the
situation.  The only (substantial) reason I've not been building the
HTML Help version is that I've not had the time to figure out how to
do it.  I don't think it's all that difficult, but I need to spend a
little time with it and make sure I understand the tools.


Fred L. Drake, Jr.  <fdrake at acm.org>
PythonLabs at Zope Corporation