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Old 07-30-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
My_Display_Name
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Modifying Help In Linux Apps: Especially OpenOffice


Basic Problem:
Memory Not So Great: Forget Solutions
Unhappy With Context Sensitive Help In General
Aversion To Reading Whole Manual
Reading Whole Manual And Forgetting Major Solutions


OK. How about some background info from experts or been-there-done-that people. A few general questions before I start my attempt.
  • How hard is modifying OpenOffice Help (I've got source code)?
  • Can I get around recompiling after each modification that I make?
  • I want better context sensitive help. I want an ever expanding broadening of the topic that stays on focus and gives me the answer or tells me I can't do what I want -- definitively.
  • Can I get around modifying C, C++, whatever and just type in the help info without trouble?

That is the basic question (in several parts).

Last edited by My_Display_Name; 07-30-2010 at 06:54 PM. Reason: punctuation formatting
 
Old 07-30-2010, 06:54 PM   #2
Sergei Steshenko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My_Display_Name View Post
...
Aversion To Reading Whole Manual
...
How hard is modifying OpenOffice Help (I've got source code)?
...
Just read the two items (your words) I left for you and hopefully laugh.
 
Old 07-30-2010, 07:18 PM   #3
wje_lq
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I'm not laughing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei Steshenko View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by My_Display_Name View Post
...
Aversion To Reading Whole Manual
...
How hard is modifying OpenOffice Help (I've got source code)?
...
Just read the two items (your words) I left for you and hopefully laugh.
I don't see the laugh potential here.

My memory isn't great, either. It means that while I sometimes read a whole manual, I don't remember everything I read in that manual. And yet I can write (and modify) code with ease. Because of my memory problems, I often have to write what I would call temporary documentation, just to make sure my new code is consistent and complete, but I think I'm as effective a coder as ever, my memory problems notwithstanding.

Although I'm not interested in context-sensitive OpenOffice help, I'm interested in the general problem posed here, and look forward to any constructive suggestions others may put forward.
 
Old 07-30-2010, 08:09 PM   #4
Sergei Steshenko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wje_lq View Post
I don't see the laugh potential here.
...
In order to modify a complex piece of code one has to carefully read the documentations which typically comes as manuals.
 
Old 07-30-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
wje_lq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei Steshenko View Post
In order to modify a complex piece of code one has to carefully read the documentations which typically comes as manuals.
I grant that the laugh potential is there if it is necessary to read the entire manual. It's not yet clear to me that this is necessary here.

But in the interest of avoiding hijacking the thread, I repeat: does anyone have insight on the original poster's quest?
 
Old 07-31-2010, 12:56 AM   #6
Sergei Steshenko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wje_lq View Post
I grant that the laugh potential is there if it is necessary to read the entire manual. It's not yet clear to me that this is necessary here.

But in the interest of avoiding hijacking the thread, I repeat: does anyone have insight on the original poster's quest?
I guess, carefully reading the whole http://api.openoffice.org/ site will sooner or later yield an answer .
 
Old 07-31-2010, 12:59 AM   #7
Sergei Steshenko
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Maybe start from here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/...ptionsPageDemo .
And from here: http://developers.sun.com/events/tec...ce_schmidt.pdf
 
Old 07-31-2010, 06:47 AM   #8
wje_lq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei Steshenko View Post
Actually, these links give a good idea as to the magnitude of the proposed project. And something from the original post does, too:
Quote:
Originally Posted by My_Display_Name View Post
I want better context sensitive help. I want an ever expanding broadening of the topic that stays on focus and gives me the answer or tells me I can't do what I want -- definitively.
Here, I think, is the most worthy source of Sergei's chuckles. By the time My_Display_Name has written all the material for the expanded context sensitive help, he will have rewritten the whole manual, but inside out. What will not be quite so chuckleworthy at that point is this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by My_Display_Name View Post
Aversion To Reading Whole Manual
... because throwing himself into the project of expanding the help facilities will probably help him overcome the aversion, if only because he won't be reading the whole manual in one fell swoop; he'll be reading bits and pieces of it while rewriting it.

For one person, this project would be huge. Depending on how well it's done, it could also introduce a paradigm shift in how context sensitive help is done.

I would encourage My_Display_Name to pursue this. The contribution to the open source community could be tremendous.
 
Old 07-31-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
My_Display_Name
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Unhappy Confusion About What Manual Under Discussion

Sergei is missing the problem. It is the various OpenOffice How-to manuals explaining using the apps (as in user friendly) -- whether put out thru OpenOffice or not that I would rather not read or even keep reading. And that goes for other Applications as well. That is the whole point of context sensitive. I want to do something and want specific info on how to do it without a lot hyperlinking see-sawing or heavy duty reading.

I have attempted to program in C a few decades ago. Know something about programming and compiling through study but through the haze of memory.

If I do something in Writer or Calc of some complexity and do not repeat that action for a while. I will forget. I don't want to spend a lot of time trying to retrace my steps. I do sometimes make documentary notation in independent files. But how much easier to just have the Office help have the info ready for me set up as I find it quick and easy to comprehend! I might even offer it as something for OpenOffice to put in the official help.

And yes, a few pointers as to the difficulty of modifying the source code would be nice too. I cannot devote my life to Linux at this time. My job is not computer related and I'm looking for another job, etc. blah, blah, blah.

So that's it. Sorry I am not too bright and can't easily figure things out for myself. And I may never actually get around to do it too. I've downloaded the whole Linux source code and stuff but have barely looked at it.
 
Old 07-31-2010, 11:16 AM   #10
My_Display_Name
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Using A Debugger To Modify Help

A follow-up.

How about using a debugger capable of modifying code?

Find the object code. Splice in just text as binary where I think it is needed to help me do what I need. Don't get fancy with hyperlinks and images -- and maybe not even have to recompile?

Is this in the realm of possibility. Frankly I have never fixed anything with a debugger except my own pathetic programming using MS C back in MS-Dos 6 days. And I am not even sure if I did that -- probably just recompiled over and over.
 
Old 07-31-2010, 01:16 PM   #11
wje_lq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My_Display_Name View Post
I cannot devote my life to Linux at this time. My job is not computer related and I'm looking for another job, etc.
Then I can guarantee that you do not have the time to follow through on this project.
Quote:
Originally Posted by My_Display_Name View Post
How about using a debugger capable of modifying code?

Find the object code. Splice in just text as binary where I think it is needed to help me do what I need. Don't get fancy with hyperlinks and images -- and maybe not even have to recompile?

Is this in the realm of possibility.
With C code? No. At some point, when you have time to explore how C compilers work in Linux on a typical platform, you will understand why.

I am beginning to understand Sergei's original reaction.
 
Old 07-31-2010, 01:56 PM   #12
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Debugging Just Musing

Sometimes what seems unlikely isn't. It was just a thought.

Following up a little on the posts, maybe NetBean will be my access to the help files. Of course this will entail a lot of reading to attempt. I was just looking for shortcuts.

The OpenOffice forums would probably be better for this anyway. Eventually it is my hope to make my own personal distribution using how-to manuals written by others and I've downloaded tons of linux manuals that have not been read.

I will say that distributions are slowly becoming more user friendly. I am up to LinuxMint 9 which is better than 7 and 8, and certainly better than Mandriva, Fedora 1, 4....Eventually I may not feel the need to attempt personalizing help files.

So the main conclusion is that it will not be easy for me doing it by the seat of my pants. Got it! Too bad.
 
Old 07-31-2010, 09:09 PM   #13
Sergei Steshenko
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To somehow reconcile myself with this thread I think I'll enrich English with "sit down comedy". Or it's already there ?
 
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