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Jcreator V4.5 Help In A Completely Separate Window?


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#1 AsiaPac

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 07:55 AM

I'd like to see JCreator Help available in a separate non-modal window, outside the main JCreator window.

Up to this moment (beta 4.5.005 ), when you open the JCreator help on a topic such as "Creating Your First Application" and carry out the various steps one at a time, you get to a stage (in this example: Step 1, click File > New  > Project it happens at the very start, with Step 1) where you have opened a modal dialog box which prevents you from independently scrolling the remainder of the steps. Therefore you are stymied from viewing successive steps in the Help pane until all of the dialog steps are finished, which defeats the point of having step-by-step guidance.

I managed to do this in V3 by creating a Windows shortcut to the JCreator.chm help file, and of course I was able to open this completely outside the JCreator IDE window. There does not seem to be a chm file for version 4.5 but instead there are HTML files with associated embedded PNG graphics. I made an attempt to use the latter, by opening index.html as a starting point, however (a) the text was all red rather than black, and (b) none of the graphics were displayed in any of the html files.

Is there a way to open the HTML files outside JCreator's IDE window, such that the text is black (not red) and the embedded images are displayed? (Without really knowing the architecture of JCreator, I suspect that this shouldn't be too hard to accomplish.)

Or maybe make JCreator Help available as an optional/additional download in the ubiquitous Adobe PDF format?

Otherwise, how about making "Use an external browser" under General Options apply to JCreator Help as well as to javadocs?

I feel that one or other (or all) of these solutions would be of value by making it possible to scroll through the JCreator Help while you have a modal dialog box open in the main IDE window.

Cheers, Tony Austin.
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UPDATE #1
Silly me! You know how it goes. You just submit a post or send an e-mail, and within a few seconds an answer to your questions pops right out of your unconscious. ... Well, I just realized that one solution to my issue is merely to launch another instance of the IDE window. (You must have the "Allow multiple instances to run" option selected in the General Options configuration panel.) I was in a rut, thinking in terms of other IDEs that I use which prevent you from having more than one instance open, but thankfully JCreator isn't that restrictive. Nevertheless, some of my early suggestions remain in force.

UPDATE #2 (background / insight / guess)
I was doing some research on a completely different matter (compatibility of Eudora mail client with Windows Vista) when I came across this Qualcomm knowledge base article: http://www.eudora-software.com/techsupport/kb/2754hq.html ... This mentions that Vista doesn't incorporate the WinHelp engine (winhlp32.exe), so maybe that's why JCreator V4 has moved away from the CHM help file approach used in earlier versions.
Tony Austin
CEO, Asia/Pacific Computer Services
asiapac.com.au or notestracker.com

#2 feryy

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 07:18 AM

I think this way will be great!!!

#3 xinox

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 11:30 AM

The main reason is that the help files are now completely written in XML so that the authors don't have to worry about the html stuff. The new manual is also interactive with its IDE by displaying dialogs and running commands via hyperlinks.

You suggestion basically already exists. For example open the Options window and press the help button. You will see a non-modal dialog window. Won't be too difficult to do this also for the general help topics.

-Xinox Software

#4 AsiaPac

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 12:55 PM

QUOTE(xinox @ Jun 22 2007, 09:30 PM) View Post
The main reason is that the help files are now completely written in XML so that the authors don't have to worry about the html stuff. The new manual is also interactive with its IDE by displaying dialogs and running commands via hyperlinks.

You suggestion basically already exists. For example open the Options window and press the help button. You will see a non-modal dialog window. Won't be too difficult to do this also for the general help topics.

-Xinox Software


That sounds good!

The sooner the better ... Laissez les bontemps rouler (see http://www.cajunculture.com/Other/laissez.htm )
Tony Austin
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#5 ham90mack

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 02:10 PM

FYI: CHM is a newer help file type.  winhlp32.exe is for HLP files, not CHM.
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#6 AsiaPac

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 01:51 AM

GREAT NEWS - Wendel has just released version 4.50.006(beta) and already has implemented "Floating manual browser" (found in the "General" options panel).

What excellent responsiveness and customer service!

Now you can work your way throughout any pages of the Help, swapping backwards and forwards with the independent JCreator IDE window and carry out the step you've just been reading about in Help.

My only suggestion is that it would be better if the independent Help window is able to display the table of contents, rather than your having to work your way through the Help one page at a time using the backwards/forwards buttons.
Tony Austin
CEO, Asia/Pacific Computer Services
asiapac.com.au or notestracker.com