HTMLHelp for Py2.3.1 (Was: Re: [Python-Dev] Py2.3.1)

Boriz Izaguirre hernan at
Sun Sep 7 16:52:36 EDT 2003

>[Fred L. Drake]
>> IDLE currently looks for the index.html file in a few places (which
>> depend on platform); if it can't find it, it uses the documentation on
>> It should be too hard to change it to load the HTML Help viewer if it
>> finds the .chm file on Windows, and to still fall back to the HTML or
>> the online documentation if the .chm can't be found.
>Changing it is trivial, EditorWindow.help_url must point to Python23.chm
>(if it exists).  I can do this.

Beware that for .html you want and for .chm you
want os.startfile(url)
There used to be a patch in Idle-dev for this.

>Even nicer would be context-sensitive keyword help, but it seems IDLE
>doesn't support it, right?

Standard .chm format already includes useful index data to do
context-sensitive search. A couple of years ago I made an Idle extension
to manage this. It wasn't difficult then, and I think it's even easier
now. The problem I found is that you pass the selected text (the one you
are looking for) to HTMLHelp system by calling a Win32 API.
You'll need win32all installed. That's the way PythonWin works, by the way.
I guess this makes it a no-no for standard Python, right?


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