fbhelp - Dos (and win ) console help viewer

DOS specific questions.
coderJeff
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fbhelp - Dos (and win ) console help viewer

Postby coderJeff » Jul 15, 2006 0:03

I've been working on this for a few weeks :

Image

... something for the hardcore dos freaks. :P

fbhelp.exe (dos) and fbhelpw.exe (windows) console help viewer for FreeBASIC manual.

Still lots to do, but I would like to get feedback on how it runs under dos/windows and any feature requests.

Source under a GNU compatible license will eventually be available. Binaries only for this testing release.

Download available from my (Unoffiicial) FreeBASIC Manual page:
http://frontpage.execulink.com/coder/freebasic/docs.asp

Important keys: F1=DocToc, F2=readme, CTRL+X = Exit.

Thanks!

EDIT: Oops. I first built the download with an older snapshot of the wiki. For more recent wiki. Please DL again, sorry.
yetifoot
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Postby yetifoot » Jul 15, 2006 1:54

wow, definately handy for the DOS freaks ;)
rdc
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Postby rdc » Jul 15, 2006 2:45

Looks very nice.
Nexinarus
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Postby Nexinarus » Jul 15, 2006 2:57

Very nice, coderjeff ;)
DOS386
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DOS & FB

Postby DOS386 » Jul 16, 2006 18:55

... something for the hardcore dos freaks. :P


YEAH !

I'll have a look.

And, if it is good I'll make some screenshots of it ON DOS,
without this silly "MS-DOS Prompt".

Very useful if it works well one day !!!
coderJeff
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Re: DOS & FB

Postby coderJeff » Jul 16, 2006 19:24

StopTCPA wrote:And, if it is good I'll make some screenshots of it ON DOS,
without this silly "MS-DOS Prompt".


I am embarrassed to say, I have not done that in years. I can't even remember the name of the util I used to use: ran as a TSR and made PCX and GIF. So far, I've only tested it in win9x command prompt boot. But I think I have boot disks for MS-DOS back to 3.3.

Just curious, what other versions of DOS are users running fbc on?
yetifoot
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Postby yetifoot » Jul 16, 2006 20:35

I tend to use 6.22, 7.0 (I think, the one that was with win98), and FreeDOS.

They all seem to work well, but I haven't done a lot, just some quick tests.
DOS386
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RE: fbhelp - DOS console help viewer

Postby DOS386 » Jul 17, 2006 20:17

Just curious, what other versions of DOS are users running fbc on?


FreeDOS. BTW: V 1.0 is expected within next 20 days.

FBHELP:

Looks really promising. :-)

Works, crashed one time up to now for me.

Problems, suggestions:

- How to exit it ??? [CTL]-[X], as stated in this forum only. Use [ESC] to exit
. . and something else for back ( like right mouse button, [DEL] , or
. . [SPACE] ) would be preferable. Also, additionally some other common
. . keys could exit, like [F10], [ALT]-[X].
- 4 Buttons on screen top (left & right from title) would be nice:
. . "TOP (F1)" , "BACK (DEL)" , "UP (F5)" , "EXIT (ESC)".
- Clicking web links results in nothing ... unlike in the CHM or Wiki. A message
. . like "This is a Web link to: www.micro$oft.com/WindowsAPI" would be useful.

- [EXPENSIVE] wish: integration with an editor, as used to be in TP & QB.
. . No comliling, no deBUG, edit & view help only.
coderJeff
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Postby coderJeff » Jul 18, 2006 0:25

Slightly updated version available: here

Has a close button, a working scroll bar, mouse scrolling delay, and a few other bug fixes. Startup under winnt should work now. In the program, press F2 for the readme and scroll down to read all the keyboard shortcuts.

StopTCPA: good ideas there. Internally, in the program, I added a minimal event model which should allow popup boxes to be done without too much trouble. I didn't do it for this posting though, sorry. I'll put your ideas on the TODO list.

My primary goal is to make the official documentation available in something other than online/html/chm. An editor might be interesting, but it's a lot of work to do from scatch. MystikShadows is working on a dos/win/lin console IDE that looks promising.
rugxulo
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Re: fbhelp - Dos (and win ) console help viewer

Postby rugxulo » Jul 21, 2006 15:04

Good stuff! I'll have to test it on my old DR-DOS 7.03 P166 and let you know how it works. Major thanks for your hard work! :)

coderJeff wrote:I've been working on this for a few weeks :

... something for the hardcore dos freaks. :P

fbhelp.exe (dos) and fbhelpw.exe (windows) console help viewer for FreeBASIC manual.

Still lots to do, but I would like to get feedback on how it runs under dos/windows and any feature requests.
rugxulo
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Postby rugxulo » Jul 25, 2006 16:34

Well, it works pretty well. I have a couple of suggestions (mainly just the first one):

  • Alt+W (or whatever) -- save topic to textfile
  • Alt+F4 and/or Alt+X -- alias for Ctrl-X (quit)
  • swap F2 (help) and F1 (index), add alias Alt+I or Ctrl+I for index
  • allow cmdline /bw to switch off colors
  • (distant future?) use Zlib or Mini-LZO to read a compressed FBHELP.DAT


Works pretty darn well as is, though! :-)
coderJeff
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Postby coderJeff » Jul 26, 2006 11:45

Thanks for trying it out. More good ideas. This weekend I will make the changes suggested by you and StopTCPA.

I already did the /bw switch and some of the keystroke re-assignments.

TODO:
* add a mini dialog-box manager.
* show some short-cuts on the status bar at the bottom of screen
* a popup message box to show web links, topic not found, other info.
* save topic to text file.

I thought about compression (even before the first posting) and there is a reserved DWORD in the help file to store the compression method. (it is currently zero). More experimentation is needed, but yes, it would be cool if sometime in the future the help data file was only 300K or something.

Thanks again to everyone for trying this thing out so far. I really appreciate the feedback.
relsoft
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Postby relsoft » Jul 26, 2006 11:51

looks like the QB help file.

Add this to mystic's IDE and you got retro FB!

Good Job!!!
MystikShadows
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Postby MystikShadows » Jul 26, 2006 14:03

You must have read my mind ;-)....hehe..
DOS386
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FBHELP

Postby DOS386 » Jul 26, 2006 18:47

I wrote:

And, if it is good I'll make some screenshots of it on DOS,
without this silly "MS-DOS Prompt".


Well, once made a threat public, one has to fulfil it, otherwise
people might take one no longer serious next time:

http://img272.imageshack.us/img272/5438/fbhelprx6.png

I pushed 2 screens into 9 KB :-D

coderJeff wrote:


Thanks for trying it out. More good ideas. This weekend I will make the changes suggested by you and StopTCPA.

I already did the /bw switch and some of the keystroke re-assignments.

TODO:
* add a mini dialog-box manager.
* show some short-cuts on the status bar at the bottom of screen
* a popup message box to show web links, topic not found, other info.
* save topic to text file.


Thanks. Please continue good work.

One more detail:

- Both <DEL> keys should be accepted ("<- del" and "del back space")

And about the <ESC> ... most programms do exit on <ESC> ...

EDIT: Hiding the obsolete screenshot, see next page for the new one :-D
Last edited by DOS386 on Jul 29, 2006 23:11, edited 1 time in total.

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