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Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's

Ever since installing D4 I have noticed the help seems to have got
even worse.
If I type GetVersionInformation and hit F1, which used to give me the
details in D3, all I get in D4 is the help contents pointing to the
nearest call with that name.
Do I need to use Help/Customize and link in any of the other help
files to get things back to normal? If so, which ones?

Dodgy.

 

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


The "OpenHelp" concept of D4 suffers from at least 2 severe
weaknesses:
- The size limit of a Windows help system is reached, so you won't be
able to put more files into it anyway
(according to Borland).
- It's extremely buggy. It's a disaster, actually.

I would advice you to reinstall the help files from the installation
CD. (8^D)

--

Bjoerge

Dodgy skrev i meldingen ...

Quote
>Ever since installing D4 I have noticed the help seems to have got
>even worse.
>If I type GetVersionInformation and hit F1, which used to give me the
>details in D3, all I get in D4 is the help contents pointing to the
>nearest call with that name.
>Do I need to use Help/Customize and link in any of the other help
>files to get things back to normal? If so, which ones?

>Dodgy.

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


On Thu, 4 Nov 1999 10:32:56 +0100, "Bj?rge S?ther"
<REMOVE_bsaet...@online.no> waffled on about something:

Quote
>The "OpenHelp" concept of D4 suffers from at least 2 severe
>weaknesses:
>- The size limit of a Windows help system is reached, so you won't be
>able to put more files into it anyway
>(according to Borland).
>- It's extremely buggy. It's a disaster, actually.

You're not kidding!
The Delphi help (which was always a bit iffy, seems to get worse with
each version, not better!)

Quote
>I would advice you to reinstall the help files from the installation
>CD. (8^D)

Oh dear. I only installed D4 a month ago! (I got a bigger hard drive).

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


Quote
On Thu, 04 Nov 1999 04:37:13 GMT, Dodgy <Do...@uk.earth> wrote:
>Ever since installing D4 I have noticed the help seems to have got
>even worse. If I type GetVersionInformation and hit F1, which used
>to give me the details in D3, all I get in D4 is the help contents
>pointing to the nearest call with that name.

>Do I need to use Help/Customize and link in any of the other help
>files to get things back to normal? If so, which ones?

Each succeeding version of Delphi includes more and more classes, each
adding more properties, methods, and events. All classes, properties,
methods, and events have dedicated topics in the Delphi help, each with a
number of index entries (one value in the K footnote of a topic is a single
index entry). To date, the Delphi help comprises in the vicinity of 20,000
topics, each with 2 to five index entries.

Functions like GetVersionEx (I found no GetVersionInformation function in
the Microsoft Windows API help) are part of the Windows API, not Delphi.
Thus they are documented in the Windows API help file that Microsoft
provides and that comes with Delphi. The Windows API help is

The Windows Help system has a limited capacity for the index built on K
footnote values. In Delphi 3, there were few enough Delphi topics for which
entries needed to be in the index that the Windows API help index could be
merged in with the Delphi index. However, in later versions of Delphi, the
number of indxe items has increased so much from additional classes that it
is no longer possible to have the Windows API help in the same index. The
Delphi 3 help was near capacity and with the Delphi 4 help adding the
Windows API index pushes the Windows help system over the edge, typically
to the point of failure. A common sign this overload has been reached is an
empty index list in the help dialog.

Also, opening the Windows API help separately puts no stress on the Delphi
help. The indexes for each can coexist in memory -- as long as the two
indexes are not merged (the aproach used in Delphi 3). So if you open the
Windows API help separately, you can do searches in its index for Windows
API functions like GetVersionEx.

Any complaints regarding adverse situations that result from limitations in
the Windows Help system should really be directed to the people responsible
for it: Microsoft. The limitation discussed here is not rocket science. It
is a simple count of how many index entries will fit into a single index.
Borland has no control over that. Only Microsoft does.

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Steve Koterski              "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
Felton, CA                  lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
                                                              -- Redd Foxx

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


I am not surprised since it doesn't exist. Do you mean GetVersion,
GetVersionEx, or GetVolumeInformation? All are of these are Windows
API functions in win32.hlp. These are not available in D3 unless you
or someone else merged this file into the D3 help.
Basically you have 2 alternatives.

1. If you download the help upgrades for D4 these come with a help
merging program (OpenHelp from memory). This will allow you to add
win32.hlp to your D4 help. Its a bit tricky and I stuffed it up
several times (the program help is {*word*99}) before I got it right.

2. The alternative is to do it manually as was necessary in D3 and
earlier versions. It involves the editing of 2 text files. Since I
didn't do it for D4 I have used my D3 files to demonstrate.

In D3 you have to first edit the Delphi3.cnt file. I had a look at
mine and the extra lines you need to add are given below.

:Base delphi3.HLP>main
:Title Delphi Help

; Index section
;==============
.
.
:Index Win32 Help=win32.hlp  (ADD)

; Include section
;================
.
.
.
:Link Win32.hlp  (ADD)
:include Win32.cnt  (ADD)
:include Win32.toc  (ADD)

You will notice this file gives details of what help files are already
linked into the Delphi help file. You can use the same method to add
additional help files.

This will work fine except that the Delphi contents display will look
funny. Instead of a single title like 'Windows API Help' you will see
the large number of subheadings you get in the win32.hlp contents. You
can fix this by editing the win32.toc file (its table of contents). If
you look at the TOC file you will see a series of headings with
numbers against them. Each number represents the submenu level. You
should see 1 against all the headings which come up on your Delphi
contents. What you do is look for the largest number (4 say) and
increase each by 1 (4 becomes 5). Then go down each number increasing
by 1 (3 to 4, 2 to 3, 1 to 2). If there is a 0 then change it to a 1
and this will come up as the title in Delphi contents (you can change
it if you want to). If there is no 0 then put a new line at the start,
number it 1 and then give it a heading for your contents display (eg
Windows API Help).

Regards
John Collins

Quote
Dodgy <Do...@uk.earth> wrote in message

news:vQohOJBxiKpI4SIucDDRymRSYWvy@4ax.com...
Quote
> Ever since installing D4 I have noticed the help seems to have got
> even worse.
> If I type GetVersionInformation and hit F1, which used to give me
the
> details in D3, all I get in D4 is the help contents pointing to the
> nearest call with that name.
> Do I need to use Help/Customize and link in any of the other help
> files to get things back to normal? If so, which ones?

> Dodgy.

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


Steve Koterski skrev i meldingen <3821b4e0.2080...@news.gte.net>...
[...]

Quote
>Any complaints regarding adverse situations that result from
limitations in
>the Windows Help system should really be directed to the people
responsible
>for it: Microsoft. The limitation discussed here is not rocket
science. It
>is a simple count of how many index entries will fit into a single
index.
>Borland has no control over that. Only Microsoft does.

The OpenHelp concept looks a little strange in this scenario. Why
implement (or even *develop*) it when it can't be put into work ???
And - noone would be arrested for *not* using the MS help... It's just
not good enough...BTW, what's been done in D5 ??
--

Bjoerge

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


Quote
>In Delphi 3, there were few enough Delphi topics for which
> entries needed to be in the index that the Windows API help index
could be
> merged in with the Delphi index. However, in later versions of
Delphi, the
> number of indxe items has increased so much from additional classes
that it
> is no longer possible to have the Windows API help in the same
index. The
> Delphi 3 help was near capacity and with the Delphi 4 help adding
the
> Windows API index pushes the Windows help system over the edge,
typically
> to the point of failure. A common sign this overload has been
reached is an
> empty index list in the help dialog.

I have added in win32.hlp and a number of other help files into the D4
help and everything has always worked perfectly. I have never had the
slightest problem with the index list. Are you sure you don't have
some other problem?

It works perfectly whether you use OpenHelp (once you work out how to
use it) or by modifying the CNT and TOC files as I have indicated in
my posting. I initially used the second method and then used OpenHelp
with no problems. Several others earlier in the year took my advice
and used the second method (mainly to get the API in the index). They
have reported that it worked fine.

Regards
John Collins

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


On Thu, 4 Nov 1999 23:57:42 +0100, "Bj?rge S?ther"

Quote
<REMOVE_bsaet...@online.no> wrote:

[...]

Quote
>The OpenHelp concept looks a little strange in this scenario. Why
>implement (or even *develop*) it when it can't be put into work ???
>And - noone would be arrested for *not* using the MS help... It's just
>not good enough...BTW, what's been done in D5 ??

I am sorry, but I decline to comment on marketing, product management, and
product design issues like this. I am not one of the people involved in
that aspect of Delphi.

As far as I am aware, the OpenHelp utility in Delphi 5 is the same as that
distributed with Delphi 4.

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Steve Koterski              "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
Felton, CA                  lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
                                                              -- Redd Foxx

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


On Fri, 5 Nov 1999 23:34:23 +1100, "Dr J D Collins" <jcoll...@cia.com.au>
wrote:

[...]

Quote
>I have added in win32.hlp and a number of other help files into the D4
>help and everything has always worked perfectly. I have never had the
>slightest problem with the index list. Are you sure you don't have
>some other problem?

[...]

Are you using Windows NT? The problem I described earlier is actually only
present in Windows 95 and 98 (my mistake for not being more clear on this).
Microsoft distributed a different Help system with NT, one that provides a
32-bit listbox for the help dialog. Compare this with Windows 95 and 98
which provide a 16-bit list box for the index, which has a much smaller
capacity.

So, NT users should never experience the index capacity problem. Only
Windows 95 and 98 users will.

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Steve Koterski              "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
Felton, CA                  lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
                                                              -- Redd Foxx

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


Steve Koterski skrev i meldingen <38270833.2437...@news.gte.net>...

Quote
>On Thu, 4 Nov 1999 23:57:42 +0100, "Bj?rge S?ther"
><REMOVE_bsaet...@online.no> wrote:

>[...]

>>The OpenHelp concept looks a little strange in this scenario. Why
>>implement (or even *develop*) it when it can't be put into work ???
>>And - noone would be arrested for *not* using the MS help... It's
just
>>not good enough...BTW, what's been done in D5 ??

>I am sorry, but I decline to comment on marketing, product
management, and
>product design issues like this. I am not one of the people involved
in
>that aspect of Delphi.

I'm sorry. I never meant to blame you, it's just my frustration over
the Help system. Next time I'll try not to *cry* out my opinions...

--

Bjoerge

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


Steve Koterski skrev i meldingen <38260712.2148...@news.gte.net>...
Quote
>On Fri, 5 Nov 1999 23:34:23 +1100, "Dr J D Collins"

<jcoll...@cia.com.au>

Quote
>wrote:

>[...]

>>I have added in win32.hlp and a number of other help files into the
D4
>>help and everything has always worked perfectly. I have never had
the
>>slightest problem with the index list. Are you sure you don't have
>>some other problem?

>[...]

>Are you using Windows NT? The problem I described earlier is actually
only
>present in Windows 95 and 98 (my mistake for not being more clear on
this).
>Microsoft distributed a different Help system with NT, one that
provides a
>32-bit listbox for the help dialog. Compare this with Windows 95 and
98
>which provide a 16-bit list box for the index, which has a much
smaller
>capacity.

>So, NT users should never experience the index capacity problem. Only
>Windows 95 and 98 users will.

Ahh, as simple as that, eh ? The 16bit listbox problem...well, well.
;^D)
Nice clarification !
--

Bjoerge

Re:Help: My D4 help seems to contain less than D3's


On Sat, 6 Nov 1999 00:09:32 +0100, "Bj?rge S?ther"

Quote
<REMOVE_bsaet...@online.no> wrote:

[...]

Quote
>I'm sorry. I never meant to blame you, it's just my frustration over
>the Help system. Next time I'll try not to *cry* out my opinions...

Nothing to be sorry about. That was just my safety valve. I do not wish to
share the blame when something is wrong in product design or marketing. By
the same token, I do not take credit when product design or marketing is
good, either.

_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
Steve Koterski              "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,
Felton, CA                  lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
                                                              -- Redd Foxx

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