Xubuntu Documentation Browser spec

Jim Campbell jwcampbell at gmail.com
Sun Jun 3 05:11:27 UTC 2007

On 6/2/07, Luzius Thöny <lucius.antonius at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ji'm not against a dedicated help browser for xubuntu, however i think
> that at this point, it would make more sense to put effort into the
> documentation itself :) to be honest, not much has happened there since
> dapper, and quite a bit of our documentation is really outdated. jani
> pointed out a few points which need fixing (see list archive), but
> unfortunately that did not  get done in time for the feisty release.

As Freddy said, we're starting a rewrite of the documentation, and will be
using topic-based help.  As a side note, I would also like to help with
upstream Xfce documentation, as they don't even have any officially
collected docs for 4.4 at this time.  I've made initial contact with another
interested party via the Xfce mailing lists and IRC, so I expect us to be
able to get things moving.  To put things mildly, Xfce documentation is a
bit unorganized now, though, with separate SVN repos for each application's
documentation.  :(  We'll see how things go.

personally, i think that firefox is quite up to the job of presenting
> help pages. the only thing i miss is a multi-page 'search', and maybe
> the ability to launch it with 'f1'. that could probably be fixed though
> by binding 'f1' to launching firefox with the help documents open,
> couldn't it?

This is something we discussed in our Xubuntu devel meetings on IRC.  One of
the concerns we had was that people would be likely to just start using
google (or whatever) once they'd opened up firefox.  We had mentioned a
possible workaround for this - possibly opening a special instance of
firefox with no address bar or link toolbar . . .   but since we already had
this nice start on the Welcome Centre, we thought it could be refashioned as
a documentation center/browser without too much extra effort, and would
allow us to avoid loading a heftier Firefox...  Could some others who have
been involved with the Welcome Centre can shed some light on how difficult
it might / might not be to refashion as a documentation browser?

a good thing in my opinion would be to increase the
> visibility of the desktop guide, by setting up a 'Help' entry in the
> 'Applications' menu, which would open the desktop guide in firefox.

That's a possibility.

please consider that writing a new app from scratch and bringing it into
> the 'main' repo is not a small task and needs some dedication from the
> developers. i'm not saying it shouldn't or couldn't be done, i'm just
> suggesting to think about whether or not it's worth your time before you
> start.

Agreed.  We need to make sure that it's the best option for Xubuntu, but
from looking at the Welcome Centre, I'm not too sure that we're really
starting from scratch here, though.

We also need to consider whether it would be harder to write the
Documentation Browser, or to remove the gnome dependencies from Yelp.  It's
up to other people with more skills in these areas than what I have, but we
should be able to answer that question before making a decision.

about translations: the xubuntu desktop guide *has* been in rosetta and
> has at least been partially translated there. however, i cannot tell you
> whether the translations were actually shipped with xubuntu feisty
> 'final' or not (i'm guessing no :[ ).

We'll try to write a good enough set of documentation for people to
translate this time around.  :)

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