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

Neil Hodgson nhodgson@bigpond.net.au
Sat, 6 Apr 2002 17:44:56 +1000


> Careful, there -- like all things Microsoft, there's HTML Help, and then
> there's HTML Help.

   And then there's the new Document Explorer which uses the new .HxS file
format. Microsoft changes documentation format and viewer apps every couple
of years or so to inflict a mixture of pain and wonder on us serfs. The .NET
documentation comes in the new format and I have read of the problems (and
hence avoided them myself) from people who have downloaded the latest
platform SDK which has documentation in the new format and so will not load
in the old viewer within MSVC 6.

> Irritations include that the set of control buttons aren't the same as in
> your browser, vary across .chm files, and there's often no obvious way for
> the user to change font size (wrt the pythlp.chm above, a persistent user
> may figure out that they can close the file, change their font size in IE,
> then reopen the .chm file).  Amazingly, there's no help available to the
> user *about* HTML Help, and in particular there's not a clue about the
> hiding in the search facility (which *may* include blazing fast wildcards,
> boolean expressions, and proximity search, depending how on clueless the
> .chm author was).

   Most of this is fixed in Document Explorer although there are fiddly
incompatibilities that annoy me.