[development] New advanced help module

Earl Miles merlin at logrus.com
Sun Apr 20 21:29:14 UTC 2008

Jose A. Reyero wrote:
> 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.

I think the built in search should be fine for help text searching. We 
can probably improve it a bit with keyword weighting (I put an issue 
into the queue about this).

> 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.

Interestingly, the way this system works, you could put the base help in 
any language. It'd still look in 'en' as that's the default language, 
and if there's a translation there it would use that.

That said, I wouldn't want the rest of Drupal to have modules in other 
languages; having a single base language means that sites with that 
language don't need to turn on the localization features, which adds 
extra database work.

> 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.

That's definitely one of the goals.

> 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.

Right now there's some parsing for href=" and src=" to help with that; 
but it's not checking for translation, so there might need to be a 
little extra work there. Some images may not need to be translated, 
whereas some others might be. But adding a few more keywords (transpath: 
vs path: maybe?) could ease that.

Thanks for the review!

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