Documentation Distribution

Geert Janssens geert.gnucash at
Thu Mar 3 12:21:10 EST 2016

On Thursday 03 March 2016 08:45:29 John Ralls wrote:
> > On Mar 3, 2016, at 8:13 AM, Geert Janssens
> > <geert.gnucash at> wrote:> 
> > On Sunday 28 February 2016 09:40:49 John Ralls wrote:
> > > For the guide I don't think it's unreasonable to remove it from
> > > the
> > > Help menu and simply direct people to
> > > <> to download it or read it online.
> > 
> > That is of course an argument to keep help and guide two separate
> > documents, so opposite to what we have just been discussing of
> > merging all together...
> > 
> > And I think if the online version is to become the primary version
> > we'll have to fix the current iframe issue on the website.
> > 
> > As a reminder, the current online docs are displayed in an iframe to
> > keep them integrated in the website (have the main menu and
> > language buttons available). The cleanest solution would be to
> > tweak the html generation (for use on our website at least) to
> > include the header and left hand side menu in every generated page.
> > And it would even be better still if the document's own
> > menu/hierarchy appeared somewhere on the page as well to users
> > could more easily navigate it all.> 
> > > The guide is about 10-12MB to help's 1-2 so
> > > removing all 5 (de, en, it, ja, and pt) would be the biggest part
> > > of
> > > the weight reduction. Help is needed for context help. For Mac
> > > bundles we could instruct users to get it from
> > > <> and install it in ~/Library/Application
> > > Support/GnuCash or perhaps provide a little Applet to do that for
> > > them. Windows needs help in .chm format which in turn requires a
> > > tool called Windows Help Workshop which runs only on Win32. The
> > > logical thing to do there would be to modify the installer to ask
> > > the user what documentation version is wanted and to download it
> > > and install it in the right place, but that assumes that the
> > > installer is able to do downloads.> 
> > Alternatively we could provide localized installers with only one
> > language per installer, next to a generic all-language installer.
> > Or langpack-only installers which would only run if they discover
> > an installed gnucash of the correct version. This is feasible with
> > the windows installer we currently use.
> > 
> > An installed that's able to do downloads would be better still
> > though.
> Geert,
> True, combining the documents would make pointing the user at the
> website impractical unless we also got rid of context help or rewired
> it to also take the user to the website. I've used programs that do
> that and I find it irritating.
Me too for that matter.

> I think having different per-documentation packages would be
> confusing. It's not easy to make obvious that the only difference
> between GnuCash-Deutsch-Intel-2.8.0-1.dmg and
> GnuCash-English-Intel-2.8.0-1.dmg is the documentation and online
> help, and that either can be used with an e.g. French, Dutch, or
> Chinese UI. I'm not wild about installer packages. They've gotten
> quite rare on Macs and I think most Mac users would be unhappy about
> GnuCash switching.

> If download size really is that much of an issue then I suppose the
> least-bad alternative is to ship with only English and provide a menu
> item in the Help menu to download and install other translations.
I presume you are thinking of the OS X/Quartz edition here and optionally the Windows edition. 
Distros will want to package separate translations rather than having them installed via a menu.

I don't consider download size much of an issue right now, and not my priority either. David T 
does have a point this may become one in the future should we get more translations donated. 
Until we are in that situation I'm happy to work on other priorities first though.


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