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How to build you your own help system ...

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Hello, For I need an offline help system that contains everything I need, I installed an old MSDN ( one with .chm and .chi files ) and kicked out everything I don´t need. My problem is now that I don´t know how to create the hhcolreg.dat and MSDNxxxx.col files so I can access them all in one go. I guess there must be a tool or something .. can anyone give me a link ? thanks in advance

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Help system? Do you mean something for bugs, fixes, and techincal support questions? You could probably get away with using Mozilla's BugZilla; it's used by many mainstream projects for tracking bugs and hotfixes for software.

Or are you talking about a help system like something in Windows? That may be a bit harder; but I'm sure you could go about it rather easily. Have an XML list of topics and then link them to another file that loads when clicked on. If I was doing it personally I'd use XML or HTML; hell for something that's going to be online you could get away with using RSS to keep it updated.

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I was thinking about a help system similiar to the MSDN which is based on XML files. The Problem is that it contains about 100 files and I don´t want to write the XML file manually. Isn´t there some kind of software ( a tool ? ) that automates that process ?

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There are programs such as Doxygen which analyse comments and code to do what you describe e.g. KDevelop API Documentation (created by doxygen). Also, I believe there was a tool that shipped with VS.NET 2k3 (or maybe it was 2k5), which does a similar thing.

Although to get any semantic meaning (to the level of MSDN), all classes, namespaces, variables, etc. need to be described by the programmers in either comments in the code, or by editing the produced documents.

Once you have all the API docs produced and annotated, you can go ahead and use HTML Help Workshop to shove them into a single .chm, if you wish.

HTH

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Well, actually that´s the state im currently in. I have no intention in writing a documentation for my code, it´s just that I want to "re-compile" parts of the MSDN into a smaller package and was looking for a tool or something to help me in that process. Typing an XML file that contains descriptions for 120 .chm files is not funny :-) ...

[Edited by - Schwammerl-Bob on February 13, 2005 5:31:04 PM]

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