[drupal-devel] Help system redesign

Gabor Hojtsy gabor at hojtsy.hu
Sun Sep 25 13:37:28 UTC 2005

> My 
> recommendation for the intermediary help files would be an XML format, one 
> reasonably easy to import/export from the online handbook and reasonably easy 
> to hand-edit.  The Docs and Translations teams could then edit the text in 
> the online handbook and export it to the necessary XML files, as can the 
> translation team, while developers can write the XML file directly via their 
> XML editing method of choice.  The file needn't be complicated.  For 
> instance:
> <drupal:help module='node' locale='en'>
>   <drupal:entry key="description">Some <b>HTML</b> here.</drupal:entry>
>   <drupal:entry key="stuff">Some other text.</drupal:entry>
> </drupal:help>
> When the module is enabled, the XML file is parsed into the help table, as 
> mentioned.  It's a one-time event, so performance is a non-issue.
> There would be a separate file for each locale.  So the node module, for 
> instance, would have:
> node.module
> node.mysql
> node.help
> node.es.help
> node.de.help
> ...
> As now, English would be the default language.  Besides being easier to edit, 
> using XML files instead of an SQL dump keeps the help text 
> database-independent.  Otherwise, we'd need separate mysql and pgsql files 
> for each locale.  

Besides easier to edit with custom already done tools like poedit and
kbabel, po editing is already mastered by Drupal interface translators.
If you are going to introduce a custom XML format, provide a ready made,
easy to use editor for translators (at least as easy as any PO editor).
Also you might provide all PO files as XML files, then, once you have
that cool translation tool.


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