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Re: Help engine/file format (was CD-based distribution...)
- To: gnu-win32 at cygnus dot com
- Subject: Re: Help engine/file format (was CD-based distribution...)
- From: "Stephen L Arnold" <sarnold at coyote dot rain dot org>
- Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 22:00:11 -0700
- Organization: Huh?
- Reply-to: sarnold at earthling dot net
On 21 Aug 98, Robert Cross had this to say about Re: Help
engine/file format (was CD:
> firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> #It would be nice if the man command came with the base distribution (or
> #EGCS). Or better still, a win32 X-man type shell with a command list,
> #search features,etc.
I ain't there yet; anybody else?
> #Unless you have the latest PII, K6, etc, most current browsers are
> #slow (piggish), and it seems like Apache would have to be trimmed
> #down quite a bit.
> What about lynx?
lynx is cool (see below)
> #How about text files with an interface to select available help
> #files and use grep to search with? It's faster than you might think,
> #even on *lots* of files. It could even be configurable for multiple file
> #formats (using a lynx base for the HTML part?).
> How about this -
> Leave the documentation in it's current multiplicity of formats. Install a
> cut down version of Apache, plus lynx or similar. Write *small* (?) CGI to
> run man2html et al to convert manual pages on demand. This would give the
> best of both worlds, minimal manual (pun?) conversion, plus the ease of
> use of HTML for the newbies, (and lazy folk like myself). The disadvantage
> is that gnu-win32 would still have to be running to be able to access the
That's what I was trying to say (although not very well :-)
The file formats can be converted on the fly, but the default
display mode should be configurable (ie, if you want to see text,
the format stuff can be stripped easily). I kind of like plain old
text because it's easy to read even if you have nothing but less to
view it with. On the other hand, there are no links, nodes, etc,
and searching requires an extra tool or two.
So nobody's interested in the win32 grep interface? It was done by
another guy, but I haven't been able to get an email in six months
of trying (no bounced messages though :-/
The app is freely available (it's called ViewBar) and since the
grep part is based on the GNU source, it (and the win32 GUI
interface) is also GPL'd (not ViewBar, just the grep part).
It's a pretty cool win95 file browser, kind of like a task bar at
the top of your display, that provides browsing, access to the grep
interface, and a nice text viewer/editor (you can also specify your
own editor). It's too bad I don't have the source for the ViewBar
part (and I can't get hold of the guy); if anyone would like to
try, his info is:
Donald Munro <email@example.com>
The win32 grep shell would make a great search facility for a help
engine, or nice stand-alone util. If anyone wants it, let me
Gotta go - it's pizza time! Steve
Steve Arnold firstname.lastname@example.org
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