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Author Topic: [CLOSED] Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer? [NO]  (Read 2344 times)

lucamar

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[CLOSED] Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer? [NO]
« on: February 27, 2019, 06:25:02 pm »
I'm guessing the answer is no(*) but just in case ... Can the Lazarus help be configured to use a CHM viewer other than lhelp? Say, for example, xchm or chmsee?

If not I'll have to tackle a serious modification of lhelp ...


(*) My guess is based on the wiki description of the help protocol but please prove I'm wrong! :)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 10:15:30 pm by lucamar »
Turbo Pascal 3 CP/M - Amstrad PCW 8256 (512 KB !!!) :P
Lazarus 2.0.2/2.0.4  - FPC 3.0.4 on:
(K|L)Ubuntu 12..16, Windows XP SP3, various DOSes.

marcov

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 06:28:59 pm »
No. Very maybe you could make a driver that connects to the windows CHM help.

But for that first the CHM files have to improved (*), I have half finished work on that.

lhelp has its problems, but to be honest, from what I've seen of the *nix CHM viewers, there is not that much improvement to be had.

Moreover, they can only load files on cmdline afaik, and not react to other programs


(*) https://bugs.freepascal.org/view.php?id=28321
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 06:45:27 pm by marcov »

lucamar

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 06:47:34 pm »
lhelp has its problems, but to be honest, from what I've seen of the *nix CHM viewers, there is not that much improvement to be had.

I use xCHM very extensively to see CHMs and there are various things it can do that lhelp can't. For example, just two little things:
  • change the font size (very important for me!);
  • allow to be used with the keyboard! (I really hate having to reach for the mouse just to go back to the previous page)
There is also the related and somewhat strange fact that Lazarus in Windows can not use the normal help viewer and uses instead lhelp!

I do agree that *nix CHM viewers are not ... ideal?... but the worst, by far (at least for me), is lhelp. No disrespect intended, just my POV. Which is why I may finally find myself tacking its modification (which I didn't want to do :-\) <sigh>
Turbo Pascal 3 CP/M - Amstrad PCW 8256 (512 KB !!!) :P
Lazarus 2.0.2/2.0.4  - FPC 3.0.4 on:
(K|L)Ubuntu 12..16, Windows XP SP3, various DOSes.

marcov

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 07:56:15 pm »
  • allow to be used with the keyboard! (I really hate having to reach for the mouse just to go back to the previous page)

Use the textmode IDE's viewer ?  Set the font size of the terminal, and browse by all keyboard :-)

lucamar

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 08:03:10 pm »
Use the textmode IDE's viewer ?  Set the font size of the terminal, and browse by all keyboard :-)

Believe it or not, I thought of doing precisely that :D
Unfortunately it isn't easy to get it to work well %)
Turbo Pascal 3 CP/M - Amstrad PCW 8256 (512 KB !!!) :P
Lazarus 2.0.2/2.0.4  - FPC 3.0.4 on:
(K|L)Ubuntu 12..16, Windows XP SP3, various DOSes.

marcov

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2019, 08:10:19 pm »
I created most of it and used it for years. Actually, the current CHM support and CHMs were originally created for it (and not for Lazarus)

It worked fine, but to be honest I haven't used it recently.

lucamar

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 08:26:23 pm »
Integrating with Lazarus is what I found ... "not so easy". Otherwise, it's about perfect (OK, as perfect as these things can be ;) )

But I am, as one of my apprentices described it, "an old curmudgeon who has forgotten that Turbo Pascal isn't state-of-the-art anymore!" :D
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 08:30:48 pm by lucamar »
Turbo Pascal 3 CP/M - Amstrad PCW 8256 (512 KB !!!) :P
Lazarus 2.0.2/2.0.4  - FPC 3.0.4 on:
(K|L)Ubuntu 12..16, Windows XP SP3, various DOSes.

dsiders

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2019, 09:08:21 pm »
Integrating with Lazarus is what I found ... "not so easy". Otherwise, it's about perfect (OK, as perfect as these things can be ;) )

But I am, as one of my apprentices described it, "an old curmudgeon who has forgotten that Turbo Pascal isn't state-of-the-art anymore!" :D

Unfortunately, many use "state-of-the-art" as a synonym for "fully buzz word compliant". Which leads to: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." :D
Lazarus 2.0.4 / FPC 3.0.4 / Windows 8.1 64-bit

wp

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2019, 09:19:51 pm »
change the font size (very important for me!)
Is this possible at all? Isn't the font used to display specified in the html files, or the css?

allow to be used with the keyboard! (I really hate having to reach for the mouse just to go back to the previous page)
If you just want to go back to the previous page press the BACKSPACE button. There is no keyboard shortcut for going forward ATM, but this can be added (what would be convenient? SHIFT+BACKSPACE? CTRL+BACKSPACE?)
Specify what else you are needing.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 09:21:28 pm by wp »
Lazarus trunk / fpc 3.0.4 / all 32-bit on Win-10

lucamar

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2019, 09:38:34 pm »
change the font size (very important for me!)
Is this possible at all? Isn't the font used to display specified in the html files, or the css?

Yes, it should be possible; like typing Ctrl+"+" (or "-") on a browser or selecting a default font of 18 or 20 pt. See the attached image for an example of how lhelp compares to xchm in this computer.

Quote
If you just want to go back to the previous page press the BACKSPACE button. There is no keyboard shortcut for going forward ATM, but this can be added (what would be convenient? SHIFT+BACKSPACE? CTRL+BACKSPACE?)
Specify what else you are needing.

It is not that I need anything but that, generally speaking, it's a nuissance having to reach for the mouse after being "pasted" to the keyboard (in the editor) for gods know how much time. But as happens with, for example, the menu editor (another of my pet peeves ::)), lhelp has to be controlled almost exclusively with the mouse: You can't even tab from the index/content/search panel to the current page to scroll with PgDn/PgUp, for gods sake!

It's quite all right that we have a fully integrated, multi-platform CHM viewer for Lazarus but, can it be made much better? Of course! Another simple example: as it is now, nothing can be configured to suit one's tastes. Need it really be that limited? I think no.

Anyway, my question was answered so I'll mark this topic as "closed". Thanks everyone for your answers! :)


ETA: Oops, forgot the image :-[
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 09:52:04 pm by lucamar »
Turbo Pascal 3 CP/M - Amstrad PCW 8256 (512 KB !!!) :P
Lazarus 2.0.2/2.0.4  - FPC 3.0.4 on:
(K|L)Ubuntu 12..16, Windows XP SP3, various DOSes.

wp

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Re: Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2019, 10:27:38 pm »
There is also the related and somewhat strange fact that Lazarus in Windows can not use the normal help viewer and uses instead lhelp!
This is how you can use the Windows Helpviewer instead of lhelp (just tested):
  • Open "Tools" > "Options" > "Help options"
  • In the "Viewers" section, select "CHM Help Viewer"
  • In HelpExe, enter "hh.exe" (without quotes)
  • In HelpExeParams, enter "%s::%s" (WITH QUOTES)
  • Press OK
Lazarus trunk / fpc 3.0.4 / all 32-bit on Win-10

lucamar

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Re: [CLOSED] Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer? [NO]
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2019, 12:07:29 am »
Thanks, wp! Yet another thing I didn't know ... noted and saved to my "Lazarus Tricks" doc :)
Turbo Pascal 3 CP/M - Amstrad PCW 8256 (512 KB !!!) :P
Lazarus 2.0.2/2.0.4  - FPC 3.0.4 on:
(K|L)Ubuntu 12..16, Windows XP SP3, various DOSes.

msimeon

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Re: [CLOSED] Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer? [NO]
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2019, 07:04:47 pm »
to wp: I tried and could not get it to work.
I ave an application using LHelpConnector.  It works with lhelp but does not display correctly a page with an image on the rigth and text on the left. The chm file displays ok when using the standard Windows hh.exe (out of my application).
Any help is welcome !!!

wp

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Re: [CLOSED] Can lhelp be replaced by other CHM viewer? [NO]
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2019, 07:27:38 pm »
You mean that the chm page is displayed correctly with the Windows chm viewer, but not with lhelp?

Well, the TurboPowerIPro HTMLPanel used by lhelp supports only the most basic html. Positioning often does not work correctly. Can you post the chm file so that I can have a look? (But I don't promise anything...)
Lazarus trunk / fpc 3.0.4 / all 32-bit on Win-10