Browser based help system

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Browser based help system

Postby MikeGale » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:46 am

Hi,

I was thinking about the browser based help.

A couple of things that came to mind:

1. The address bar, for me shows v=10%2e0100+Pro+Trial, when I'm using a licensed version of Pro. Is that expected?

2. The search on the help pages does a Google search. A search box on each page that finds other help topics (not general web) might be very useful. It could even be a Ajaxy box that pulls in candidate topics as you type.

3. I feel the "please help..." box at the top of every page is too prominent. It reminds me of the notices at the top of Wikpedia pages. By no means as bad as those horrible things but reminiscent.

4. A lot of other ideas are popping into my head, but that's enough for now.
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Re: Browser based help system

Postby Albert Wiersch » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:20 am

MikeGale wrote:Hi,

I was thinking about the browser based help.


Thanks Mike! I was confused at first but then figured out you were referring to the "dynamic help" feature.

For people who don't know, this is a feature added in v10 where you can place the cursor next to an HTML tag or CSS property in CSE HTML Validator's editor and then press the F1 key to go to an online help page for that specific HTML tag or CSS property.

MikeGale wrote:1. The address bar, for me shows v=10%2e0100+Pro+Trial, when I'm using a licensed version of Pro. Is that expected?


No, that was a bug. I've fixed it for the next update. Thanks!

MikeGale wrote:2. The search on the help pages does a Google search. A search box on each page that finds other help topics (not general web) might be very useful. It could even be a Ajaxy box that pulls in candidate topics as you type.


Do you mean other help topics in CSE HTML Validator's the dynamic help system? If so, that sounds like a good idea.

MikeGale wrote:3. I feel the "please help..." box at the top of every page is too prominent. It reminds me of the notices at the top of Wikpedia pages. By no means as bad as those horrible things but reminiscent.


Thanks. I just removed them. It doesn't seem to many people are using the dynamic help feature (yet) and I have not received many suggestions anyway.

MikeGale wrote:4. A lot of other ideas are popping into my head, but that's enough for now.


I really like how this is integrated into CSE HTML Validator. I've used it before in real-world development. I think the most valuable part of it are the links to the more detailed help pages and the actual specifications. I really don't want to "rehash" (nor do I have the time) what has already been done in detail.

If you can think of any other changes that would increase your productivity when you use it, or increase the helpfulness, then please let me know. I do have some "updates" in mind, just need to find the time to get to them. :D
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Re: Browser based help system

Postby MikeGale » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:33 pm

Yep, I did mean a way to find other dynamic help.

What happened to the W3School idea?

Two of my other thoughts were:

1) A quick summary of the tag. Like p is one of the most widely used tags and is found in the majority of web pages. Inexperienced users reveal themselves by using br and, sometimes, div tags where they should use p...

2) A link on each parameter / the most popular to a page that shows where it's used (a simple list of other tags) and maybe a bit about it.
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Re: Browser based help system

Postby Albert Wiersch » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:15 pm

MikeGale wrote:What happened to the W3School idea?


I contacted them but they did not respond. I may try contacting them again soon. Fortunately I was able to do a link exhange with SitePoint's reference. UPDATE: I've contacted them again.

MikeGale wrote:1) A quick summary of the tag. Like p is one of the most widely used tags and is found in the majority of web pages. Inexperienced users reveal themselves by using br and, sometimes, div tags where they should use p...


Yes, I've been adding summaries (intros) when I can. I've added one to the "p" element, based on what you suggested (thanks, BTW):
http://www.htmlvalidator.com/help.php?m=2&h=p

I plan on adding more in the future when I get a chance or a suggestion for one (I sometimes just need a little "prompting")! Feel free to suggest more element summaries/intros if you'd like - based on what you think is most important to mention - and I'll get them added.

MikeGale wrote:2) A link on each parameter / the most popular to a page that shows where it's used (a simple list of other tags) and maybe a bit about it.


Do you mean links for the attributes? Yes, I've thought about that, but given current priorities I have not wanted to get that involved yet, instead providing the links to other good HTML references where one might get more details about the attributes.
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Re: Browser based help system

Postby MikeGale » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:52 pm

Do you mean links for the attributes?


Yep that's what I meant. Switching to and fro between programming languages, XHTML etc. etc. I tend to use the vocabulary of one in the other.

(I imagine such links would be computer generated from a relational database. As you say not urgent.)
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