Xhelp code on launchpad ready

Cody A.W. Somerville cody-somerville at ubuntu.com
Mon Aug 6 22:18:33 UTC 2007

On 8/6/07, Jani Monoses <jani.monoses at gmail.com> wrote:
> Giuseppe Torelli wrote:
> > On 8/6/07, Jani Monoses <jani.monoses at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> I agree it would be nice to have search and similar extras that a
> browser does not have.
> >> But I still think using the default web browser is better for the
> following reasons
> >>
> >> 1) Resource consumption : if the browser is too heavy to read the help
> it is probably too heavy to
> >> use it to browse the web. I am not sure how many Xubuntu desktops are
> not using a web browser.
> >
> > Please guys, let's take an agreement. I don't want to waste my time in
> > developing an application that will never be included because there is
> > already a web browser in Xubuntu!! From now on I will not code a
> > single line of code for Xhelp until we come to a  conclusion.
> We can come to a conclusion if we agree on what problem we are trying to
> solve first.
> As I see it is Xubuntu users do not help as readily available as in Ubuntu
> or Kubuntu.
> Is it anything more specific or is it just this?

The prominence of the Xubuntu help on the desktop is an issue. However, the
issue we are trying to address is that people do not want to view
documentation in Firefox because it takes too long to load. If they already
have firefox open, it isn't as bad but I can imagine there will be times
when a user wants help on a topic that does not involve the
internet/web-browser and as a consequence simply do not have firefox open.
In these cases, the wait time is simply unbearable on lower-end systems.
Often users are unaware that they are launching firefox and are confused by
the immediate performance hit they feel.

A more light-weight browser would address this issue. However, one must ask
why doesn't Ubuntu simply do the same - use Firefox for browsing their
documentation? If one can answer this, they can understand why we too are
following in those foot step.

> >> 2) Consistency: the Xfce docs have links to external http URLs.  What
> happens with those if the user
> >> follows them? Launch the web browser or render those sites poorly (I am
> pretty sure CSS and JS won't
> >> be supported by Xhelp)?
> >
> > If libgtkhtml2 supports them, Xhelp will support them too but I think
> > the best way will be to launch the default web browser for this.
> gtkhtml2 does not, that's why many other projects use gtkmozembed when
> needing browser-like stuff.
> So if the default browser is launched anyway what is the gain? For the
> user the link seems like another
> link in the help, external ones are not different (unless you make them
> like that specifically in Xhelp)
> and that can lead to actually more meory used since both browsers are in
> memory now.

It would be no problem at all to launch firefox for external links. It would
also be possible to stylize these links in some way to show the users they
are an external link. We were going to do this for the "Xubuntu Welcome

Regarding your third issue, this will always be true.

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