Sunday, September 19, 2010

 

Help System for Pharo/Squeak

Some months ago I wrote a help system for Pharo and Squeak
to provide an easy way to browse available documentation
for the open source Smalltalk systems.

You can use it to display available API documentation
(extracted from class/method comments) and to provide custom
documentation in form of simple written text books.
These informations are extracted from the image by two
predefined help builder classes that convert the help contents
to instances of "HelpTopic".
These HelpTopics can be nested (book structure) and displayed
in a HelpBrowser. Since help text is extracted/stored in
classes and methods you can use the usual tools to maintain
and package help contents together with your code.

The design is simple but nonetheless powerfull since by
allowing you to integrate own custom help builder classes
you can easily integrate documentation extracted from any
source available to you.

It was accepted by the community and integrated in both
standard images (Pharo 1.1/Squeak 4.1). Thanks guys!

Laurent now created a new screencast to show you how to use
it:

http://pharocasts.blogspot.com/2010/09/document-with-helpsystem.html

Starting from now, no excuses not to write documentation ;)

It is still ASCII based but I have plans to integrate other media
types (especially HTML) in the near future...

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