Discussion:
RAD Studio D2007 Help System
(too old to reply)
Paul Hope
2008-01-30 16:46:46 UTC
Permalink
Hi

I have trying to move from D6 to D2007 and have now come to a standstill
with this horrible new help system.

What can I do to install context sensitive help files (.hlp) from older
component suites which dont have the MSHelp2 files?

Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in favour of HTML (.chm)
help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are regarding this?

Regards
Paul
Marco Caspers
2008-01-31 08:48:01 UTC
Permalink
Paul Hope wrote:

<snip>
Post by Paul Hope
Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in favour of HTML
(.chm) help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are regarding
this?
<snip>

CodeGear is contineously updating the helpfiles to add content that was
lost in the conversion. They are very aware that the current state the
help is in is abysmall.


You might want to have a look at the blogs Dee Elling made, she
explains at length what is going on with the help system.



--
Paul Hope
2008-01-31 15:46:16 UTC
Permalink
Hi Marco
Post by Marco Caspers
<snip>
Post by Paul Hope
Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in favour of HTML
(.chm) help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are regarding
this?
<snip>
CodeGear is contineously updating the helpfiles to add content that was
lost in the conversion. They are very aware that the current state the
help is in is abysmall.
You might want to have a look at the blogs Dee Elling made, she
explains at length what is going on with the help system.
Doesnt exactly fill me with confidence - she seems very keep on putting
stuff on the web. Unless I missed something there doesnt seem to be
anything to help.

Regards
Paul
Brad White
2008-02-01 14:24:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Hope
Doesnt exactly fill me with confidence - she seems very keep on putting
stuff on the web.
If you've been following non-tech at all, everyone
has been clamoring for the content to be in a wiki format
so they can help out with editing and adding content.
What is the downside to that?
Post by Paul Hope
Unless I missed something there doesnt seem to be
anything to help.
I don't follow you.
There have been more improvements to the help
in the short time she has been here, than in
the several years previous combined.

HTH,
Brad.
Paul Hope
2008-02-04 16:32:03 UTC
Permalink
Hi Brad
Post by Brad White
Post by Paul Hope
Doesnt exactly fill me with confidence - she seems very keep on putting
stuff on the web.
If you've been following non-tech at all, everyone
has been clamoring for the content to be in a wiki format
so they can help out with editing and adding content.
What is the downside to that?
None at all - providing the result gets downloaded to my PC for local lookup
during subsequent help updates. I dont want to be forced to do a web lookup
whenever I hit F1 - its too slow. I just felt that the emphasis on the web
base was not what I wanted when the basics dont work.
Post by Brad White
Post by Paul Hope
Unless I missed something there doesnt seem to be
anything to help.
I don't follow you.
There have been more improvements to the help
in the short time she has been here, than in
the several years previous combined.
My specific concerns are about migrating component suites from ealier
versions of Delphi which have .hlp based files. If the component suits
isnt current then there isnt going to be a .Hxs or .chm set of help files
coming along. That's why I'm so grumpy ;-)

Regards
Paul
Dan Barclay
2008-01-31 17:39:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Hope
Hi
I have trying to move from D6 to D2007 and have now come
to a standstill
with this horrible new help system.
What can I do to install context sensitive help files
(.hlp) from older
component suites which dont have the MSHelp2 files?
Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in
favour of HTML (.chm)
help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are regarding
this?
You just need to recalibrate yourself. Upgrade to D2006
first, then you won't feel nearly as bad about the doc in
D2007<vbg>.

That is to say: they got it really screwed up, they know it,
and they're working very hard to resove it (with some
serious progress believe it or not). Still a ways to go to
be sure, but they're not ignoring it.

Dan
Paul Hope
2008-02-01 09:01:45 UTC
Permalink
Hi Dan
Post by Dan Barclay
Post by Paul Hope
I have trying to move from D6 to D2007 and have now come
to a standstill
with this horrible new help system.
What can I do to install context sensitive help files
(.hlp) from older
component suites which dont have the MSHelp2 files?
Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in
favour of HTML (.chm)
help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are regarding
this?
You just need to recalibrate yourself. Upgrade to D2006
first, then you won't feel nearly as bad about the doc in
D2007<vbg>.
Thats the crueliist thing anybody has ever said to me :-)
Post by Dan Barclay
That is to say: they got it really screwed up, they know it,
and they're working very hard to resove it (with some
serious progress believe it or not). Still a ways to go to
be sure, but they're not ignoring it.
Lets hope the progress is in the right direction, Lees blog didnt fill me
with confidence.

Regards
Paul
Brad White
2008-02-01 14:27:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Hope
Hi Dan
Post by Dan Barclay
Post by Paul Hope
I have trying to move from D6 to D2007 and have now come
to a standstill
with this horrible new help system.
What can I do to install context sensitive help files
(.hlp) from older
component suites which dont have the MSHelp2 files?
Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in
favour of HTML (.chm)
help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are regarding
this?
You just need to recalibrate yourself. Upgrade to D2006
first, then you won't feel nearly as bad about the doc in
D2007<vbg>.
Thats the crueliist thing anybody has ever said to me :-)
Post by Dan Barclay
That is to say: they got it really screwed up, they know it,
and they're working very hard to resove it (with some
serious progress believe it or not). Still a ways to go to
be sure, but they're not ignoring it.
Lets hope the progress is in the right direction, Lees blog didnt fill me
with confidence.
Well, there's your problem. You are reading the wrong blog. 8:-)

Seriously, which part of this post don't you like?
http://blogs.codegear.com/deeelling/2008/01/11/38293
I think it is just filled with good news.

HTH,
Brad.
Paul Hope
2008-02-04 09:28:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi Brad
Post by Brad White
Post by Paul Hope
Hi Dan
Post by Dan Barclay
Post by Paul Hope
I have trying to move from D6 to D2007 and have now come
to a standstill
with this horrible new help system.
What can I do to install context sensitive help files
(.hlp) from older
component suites which dont have the MSHelp2 files?
Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in
favour of HTML (.chm)
help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are regarding
this?
You just need to recalibrate yourself. Upgrade to D2006
first, then you won't feel nearly as bad about the doc in
D2007<vbg>.
Thats the crueliist thing anybody has ever said to me :-)
Post by Dan Barclay
That is to say: they got it really screwed up, they know it,
and they're working very hard to resove it (with some
serious progress believe it or not). Still a ways to go to
be sure, but they're not ignoring it.
Lets hope the progress is in the right direction, Lees blog didnt fill me
with confidence.
Well, there's your problem. You are reading the wrong blog. 8:-)
Seriously, which part of this post don't you like?
http://blogs.codegear.com/deeelling/2008/01/11/38293
I think it is just filled with good news.
It was partly 'I'm a big believer in putting technical docs "live" on the
web' and partly what is not said.

I hate docs on the web, but dont care if they are already downloaded with
instant access.

What was not mentioned was

Any concern or activity regarding getting rid of the masses of useless
content 'procedure foo' detail 'This is the procedure foo' (or similar)
with lots of screen space taken by panels with what the C++ (escpecially as
I had the Delphi filter on) and delphi declarations look like ('procedure
Foo;') . In other words a whole pages and index entries for thousands of
topics where there is no information.

Apparently no progression path for the help for older component suites which
have .hlp files.

Lack of information on (or difficulty in) configuring the help system to
integrate third party component suite help files.

I managed to migrate everything from D6 to D2007 but feel I cant use D2007
because the help is so bad.

Regards
Paul
Dan Barclay
2008-02-02 02:37:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Hope
Hi Dan
Post by Dan Barclay
Post by Paul Hope
I have trying to move from D6 to D2007 and have now
come
to a standstill
with this horrible new help system.
What can I do to install context sensitive help files
(.hlp) from older
component suites which dont have the MSHelp2 files?
Also I have heard that MSHelp2 is dropped in Vista in
favour of HTML (.chm)
help - does anyone know what Codegears plans are
regarding
this?
You just need to recalibrate yourself. Upgrade to D2006
first, then you won't feel nearly as bad about the doc in
D2007<vbg>.
Thats the crueliist thing anybody has ever said to me :-)
I can do better but I was trying to be nice.
OK: Upgrade to D2005 first! <lol>
Post by Paul Hope
Post by Dan Barclay
That is to say: they got it really screwed up, they know
it,
and they're working very hard to resove it (with some
serious progress believe it or not). Still a ways to go
to
be sure, but they're not ignoring it.
Lets hope the progress is in the right direction, Lees
blog didnt fill me
with confidence.
It is MUCH better. Take it from a guy that desperately
needs good documentation (a VB newbie to Delphi).

I still routinely rely on DelphiBasics
(www.DelphiBasics.co.uk) but the built in doc is much
improved.

Dan
Simon Beesley
2008-02-09 10:52:10 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
That is to say: they got it really screwed up, they know it, and they're
working very hard to resove it (with some serious progress believe it or
not). Still a ways to go to be sure, but they're not ignoring it.
That would be a reasonable reply if Delphi were a new product. But with a
product which is over 12 years old and has had a remarkably good help system
up to now, as an explanation this is exceptionally lame, not to say
downright feeble. I think an apology -- and an honest admission that
CodeGear have screwed up very badly indeed -- would be in order.

D2007's Help system is not usable. Surely it must be possible for CodeGear
to supply users with a working Help system in some earlier format until they
manage to fix what almost every other software vendor realizes is one of the
important elements in any RAD system.

"Still ways to go to be sure, but they're not ignoring it"

That 's good to know. Good to know they're not ignoring a major flaw in
their own product. Now why do I find being told that CodeGear are not
ignoring the result of their own incompetence the very opposite of
reassuring?

Simon
Dan Barclay
2008-02-09 14:58:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Beesley
Hi,
Post by Dan Barclay
That is to say: they got it really screwed up, they know
it, and they're working very hard to resove it (with some
serious progress believe it or not). Still a ways to go
to be sure, but they're not ignoring it.
That would be a reasonable reply if Delphi were a new
product. But with a product which is over 12 years old and
has had a remarkably good help system up to now, as an
explanation this is exceptionally lame, not to say
downright feeble. I think an apology -- and an honest
admission that CodeGear have screwed up very badly
indeed -- would be in order.
D2007's Help system is not usable. Surely it must be
possible for CodeGear to supply users with a working Help
system in some earlier format until they manage to fix
what almost every other software vendor realizes is one of
the important elements in any RAD system.
"Still ways to go to be sure, but they're not ignoring it"
That 's good to know. Good to know they're not ignoring a
major flaw in their own product. Now why do I find being
told that CodeGear are not ignoring the result of their
own incompetence the very opposite of reassuring?
<shrug> I'm just calling it like I see it.

IMHO they're back on board with the priority and have been
pulling resources into it. I've raised as much heck as
anybody regarding documentation and help in the last couple
of years. I was serious about my criticism then, and I'm
serious about my comments now. They are certainly not done,
but it is much better than the fiasco that existed not long
ago. My hope is that they get it back where it should be.

It is still not suitable for "new users", which is what
Delphi desperately needs. Combining the built in Help with
something like DelphiBasics is workable.

Dan
Q Correll
2008-02-09 17:28:27 UTC
Permalink
Dan,

| Combining the built in Help with something like DelphiBasics is
| workable.

Or even D7's Help. Which works just fine as a free-standing help
system. Just no context associations.
--
Q

02/09/2008 10:27:29

XanaNews Version 1.17.5.7 [Q's Salutation mod]
Q Correll
2008-02-09 17:26:50 UTC
Permalink
Simon,

| D2007's Help system is not usable. Surely it must be possible for
| CodeGear to supply users with a working Help system in some earlier
| format

I must guiltily confess that I have a sub-directory on my HD with only
the D7 Help system on it. <g> Of course it can't answer specific
BDS/RAD only type questions for me but for most of the Delphi Object
Pascal language "refresher" information I need it is certainly a sanity
saver. <g>
--
Q

02/09/2008 10:22:25

XanaNews Version 1.17.5.7 [Q's Salutation mod]
Paul Hope
2008-02-10 17:36:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Q Correll
Simon,
| D2007's Help system is not usable. Surely it must be possible for
| CodeGear to supply users with a working Help system in some earlier
| format
I must guiltily confess that I have a sub-directory on my HD with only
the D7 Help system on it. <g> Of course it can't answer specific
BDS/RAD only type questions for me but for most of the Delphi Object
Pascal language "refresher" information I need it is certainly a sanity
saver. <g>
The only way I've stayed sane(ish) is to stay with D6. Having paid for
D2007 that's not too pleasing.
However Ray (of Raize Components) reminded me of the Tools menu which is
configurable - I've added an item for each of my .hlp files for my legacy
component suites and at least its a neat way of opening the .hlp files.
Still not a good enough solution though.

If anyone in the UK is going to the upcoming CodeGear presentations perhaps
they could ask some embarrassing questions and post the answer back here
(I'll be sunning myself in StLucia ;-))

Regards
Paul
Ed
2008-03-05 04:42:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Beesley
That would be a reasonable reply if Delphi were a new product. But with a
product which is over 12 years old and has had a remarkably good help system
up to now, as an explanation this is exceptionally lame, not to say
downright feeble. I think an apology -- and an honest admission that
CodeGear have screwed up very badly indeed -- would be in order.
Well, coming from a D7->BDS2006->RAD2007 background, I would
hazard my opinion is well informed (if not a bit biased) to
say that Borland *dropped* the ball on the help system in BDS2006.
Further to exacerbate my frustration is that with D2007,
they used an entirely different help system (which further
obsoletes anything BDS2006 has to offer (*read: WASTE OF MONEY)).
While the help system D2007 is an 'improvement' (loosely spoken),
it still way below D7's standard.

This of course is blamed on the conversion process. I mean, *who*
created this conversion process and the tools used? Borland?
Codegear? So if the conversion process fubar'd the help system,
it is the process that is blamed. Not the people behind it.
After all, "mistakes were made" pretty much sums up the
necessary rebuttal.

That said, at this point we, as users, need results so is it
necessary to blame people or find people to blame? The most pro-active
way of solving this problem is the fix the problem.[How's that for
stating the obvious?] Blaming people won't solve the issue,
right? CG is now pro-actively (with only a blog as evidence and
a help update) solving the problem. But I (and I don't
speak for everyone) believe I needed a decent (close to D7's
level of competence) set of documentation "yesterday".

Of course, one can always return to D7 for Pascal specific
details. What about IDE specifics? I believe b.p.d.ide.general?

How long has D2007 been out? How's the documentation now
compared to when it first appeared?


Edmund
Simon Beesley
2008-03-05 06:42:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ed
That said, at this point we, as users, need results so is it
necessary to blame people or find people to blame? The most pro-active
way of solving this problem is the fix the problem.[How's that for
stating the obvious?] Blaming people won't solve the issue,
right? CG is now pro-actively (with only a blog as evidence and
a help update) solving the problem. But I (and I don't
speak for everyone) believe I needed a decent (close to D7's
level of competence) set of documentation "yesterday".
<snip>
Post by Ed
How long has D2007 been out? How's the documentation now
compared to when it first appeared?
I agree that there's no point blaming people. The only reason for making a
fuss is to persuade CG to do something about the help system. But they don't
seem to be listening.

I have had D2007 since last October and nothing in the way of updates has
done anything to improve its help. It doesn't really matter whether or not
the Help has updated -- since it is still unusable. If it is has been
improved, the changes are not evident to me or anyone else who uses D2007 on
a day to day basis.

Simon

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