[development] New advanced help module

Jose A. Reyero drupal at reyero.net
Sun Apr 20 15:11:28 UTC 2008

Hey Earl, I've given a try to the module and it looks great.

I also agree the built in search is not that good -it's ok for small
texts though- and we do need something better, specially if we want to
produce better and bigger help pages.

About the translation part, it has some small bug so not really working
yet (I'll be posting a patch), but doesn't look bad.

However I wish we were able to have some multilanguage system like this
that didn't always rely on the primary version in English. I mean it's
not always English + other languages. I.e. I may have a module built for
a site with some help pages only in Spanish, that I may not need in
English at first. Then maybe I want to contribute the module later for
which I'd create the English translation, or I may add an English
version to my site... but it would be nice to be able to have the pages
in the right place from the beginning.

I'm thinking it would be great have a drupal_language_include() that
checked for the right language file with some fallbacks but didn't need
always the English version first.

Anyway, this new help system is certainly an improvement over the
current one, as documentation on static pages is much easier to maintain
and translate than the handful of spare strings we currently have to
deal with and also it doesn't need a php developer just to fix some string.

Other ideas (for the wish list for now, I hope I'll be able to send some
patches), may be to use xml files or some simpler markup for the text
files, just to keep the texts cleaner and easier to maintain and
translate. Also the current directory structure makes it difficult to
share static files (css, images, etc..) between translations, I guess
that could be fixed with some parsing of the source text files and maybe
using some identifiers instead of real urls for links and images....
And  there's the internal site links that may need some parsing too to
point at the right pages.

Nice job, I think I'll be the first user of this new system :-)


Earl Miles wrote:
> Earl Miles wrote:
>> In an effort to provide a framework to get decent documentation into
>> Views 2, I determined that the built in Drupal help is simply not
>> satisfactory for my needs. So I built this framework as a generic
>> module that any module can utilize as an option to get expanded
>> documentation about the administrative side of a module.
>> Currently the module is in beta status -- it is almost certainly
>> missing features, but it has what I want. I'll happily, however, let
>> others who want to expand this to meet the needs of other modules. In
>> my ideal world, this module will be improved, code-wise, until it is
>> core worthy and the basic "how to use Drupal" documentation ends up
>> shipped with Drupal. Perhaps this can happen as part of an upcoming
>> Summer of Code project; in any case, I put this out there for people
>> to use and see what we can do with it.
>> Also, look at it this way: If Views uses it, you know that 50% of the
>> modules out there for Drupal 6 will at least be exposed to it.
>> Oh, the module is for Drupal 6 but can probably be backported to D5
>> with not a lot of effort. If someone wants to do that, great. I won't
>> be doing it, though. =)
> By the way, I'm keenly interested in the opinion of the translation
> wizards out there to make sure I got it right and am not missing
> something necessary or that could make this even easier.

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