Xhelp code on launchpad ready

Jani Monoses jani.monoses at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 15:41:56 UTC 2007

Hi Jim,

thanks for the link.

> Yes, please see here:
> https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/xubuntu-documentation-browser 
> <https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/xubuntu-documentation-browser>

There's this statement in the spec that I do not agree with at all:

"Xubuntu developer team members have suggested that it would be easier to code the
Xubuntu Documentation Browser than to removed the Gnome libs from yelp."

In general I doubt writing something from scratch is easier that adapting an existing app.
Did anyone look at yelp sources before starting this project?

However, a problem with yelp that I can see is not its gnome deps, but that GNOME docs are not plain HTML
so if yelp can only work with that specific XML format it's useless for the existing Xfce doc.

"New users often do not know that Xubuntu documentation is stored within Firefox, and thus do not look
for it when first using their web browser. If a new user promptly changes their default homepage,
they may never even know that Xubuntu documentation exists!"

Isn't that better solved by making sure the Help is prominent enough? If experience shows Xubuntu users
that could use some help cannot find it, we should fix that. Having a new app is not the easiest way.
What about placing a help launcher in the panel just like Ubuntu. Put xfhelp4 in a launcher with a nice icon.
Done :)

One thing I definitely agree with is that firefox is slow, and on older hardware that is even more noticeable.
But assuming the user has a browser, reading help is not more intensive than browsing the web.
There may be people who replace firefox with opera or dillo or whatever is faster, but xfbrowser4 is used
for calling help. That tries to run various browsers in turn, so whichever the user has will be used.

I doubt a custom app will be faster (and more stable) than dillo for example.

I'd rather the real problem of new users having a hard time finding help was solved with the minimum of new
code and developer effort that could be spent elsewhere in the project.

Having said that, I am not stopping anyone from working on something they enjoy and that may be useful eventually,
nor am I trying to make people spend their free time on something they'd rather leave alone. Just pointing out
that this is not how I would go about this problem.


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