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Bug 36325 - Specify help window integration with the new WS
Summary: Specify help window integration with the new WS
Alias: None
Product: platform
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Window System (show other bugs)
Version: 3.x
Hardware: PC All
: P3 blocker (vote)
Assignee: Stanislav Aubrecht
Keywords: UI
Depends on:
Blocks: 36118
  Show dependency tree
Reported: 2003-09-29 10:58 UTC by jrojcek
Modified: 2013-09-05 08:04 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: TASK
Exception Reporter:

The Help Browser and Help Contents in the default layout. (56.85 KB, image/png)
2003-10-10 16:41 UTC, jrojcek
The Help Contents window in gui editing layout. (45.08 KB, image/png)
2003-10-10 16:42 UTC, jrojcek

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Description jrojcek 2003-09-29 10:58:50 UTC
Specify behavior of help window in the new
windowing system.

The specification of help window integration
described in the windowing system UI spec is
rather vague. It should be enhanced and completed.
Comment 1 jrojcek 2003-09-29 14:35:02 UTC
The UI Spec (not implementation) for help integration should be
completed before the merge.
Comment 2 jrojcek 2003-10-10 14:03:18 UTC
This comment contains the high level sketch of how the help system
should be integrated with the new windowing system to provide the best
user experience. The sketch is based on John-Jullion's document (URL
is in the URL field), specifically on the internal solution for help

This proposal is a slightly different. The help window should be
divided into two separate parts - Help Contents and Help Browser. Help
Contents would contain three tabs - Contents, Index and Search. Help
Browser would show the actual help page and toolbar for back and
forward navigation.

- The Help Contents window would be a "view" in the windowing system
terminology. It means it would be opened around the document area.
- The Help Browser would be a "document" window. It means it would
open inside the document area.

The Help menu would contain "Help Contents [Ctrl+Shift+F1]" menu item
which would open the Help Contents window on its default location.
Clicking or selecting any help item in the Help Contents window would
open (or bring to focus if already open) the Help Browser window.

The contextual Help invoked with F1 keystroke within the main IDE
window would open the Help Browser window.

The contextual Help invoked from a modal or non-modal dialog would
open a separate non-modal help window parented to the dialog. This
special help window would be the same as in the current windowing
system (NB 3.5.1). The Help window would be dismissed when user closes
the original dialog the help was invoked from. (This might introduce a
problem when user is following a recipe of how to solve something and
the recipe requires to close the dialog. It might look strange that
the help window is closed in such situation).
Comment 3 jrojcek 2003-10-10 14:09:26 UTC
The complete specification of the Help integration with the new
windowing system should be planned and provided separately. In the
first phase of windowing system reimplementation, we should assure
that the new windowing system doesn't cause a regression in help

I am removing this from the tasks required for the merge.
Comment 4 Patrick Keegan 2003-10-10 15:09:07 UTC
Jano, do you have an idea of where the help navigators ("Help
Contents" in your terminology) would appear relative to other "view"
windows and which view windows would typically be open? Similarly, do
you have an idea of where the Help Browser would typically be? Would
it cover everything else in the document area, or would it have it's
own place?

If you could do a quick mockup of what the IDE might look like with
the help and java file open for editing (or maybe even a java form),
that would give the help writers a better point of reference. Thanks.
Comment 5 jrojcek 2003-10-10 16:37:49 UTC
The issue #36119 contains the list of all windows and their location
in the new windowing system. If the Help Navigator is implemented,
then it should be displayed in the Properties "Mode" (look into the
mentioned issue for more details).

The Help Browser should be open in the center of document area by
default. I will attach a quick mockups.
Comment 6 jrojcek 2003-10-10 16:41:59 UTC
Created attachment 11833 [details]
The Help Browser and Help Contents in the default layout.
Comment 7 jrojcek 2003-10-10 16:42:52 UTC
Created attachment 11834 [details]
The Help Contents window in gui editing layout.
Comment 8 John Jullion-ceccarelli 2003-10-10 18:04:16 UTC

I like this solution a lot, think it's definitely an improvement over
current situation. One of the more problematic cases is where a user
is following a procedure help page that makes her open several
dialogs. The page is open in the Document area, then she opens a
dialog and can't see it, so she clicks the Help button to get the
floating Help window. But the Help button has a CSH topic that is
probably different than the one she was using.

This means that the help viewer for dialogs must have back and forward
navigators. It should probably also have the navigation panels (TOC,
index, search). 

Likewise, the help viewer in the document area should probably also
follow the content of the dialog help viewer. That way when the user
closes the dialog, the dialog help viewer is dismissed but she can
still see the topic in the document help viewer.
Comment 9 jrojcek 2003-10-16 09:24:52 UTC
Yes, that is the drawback of internal help window approach. The
solution  you mentioned is probably a must. We might also try to
minimize this problem by guessing that the user is reading the
internal help window and when she opens a dialog then automatically
popup the external help window. For example, if the internal help
window is visible and the user invokes a dialog, then do it? 

The opposite way (the user invoked help window from a dialog) would be
probably impossible, as I don't see a way how to guess that the user
needs the help window even after closing the dialog.
Comment 10 Stanislav Aubrecht 2013-09-05 08:04:03 UTC
The Help window is now separated from the main IDE window.
Please reopen if still valid.