Documentation/Dashboard/Wiki Help

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The Put-the-Help-Online Project

Project Owner

Frank Peters

Issues/To Dos

  • Get statistics on the usage of switches and embeddings in the help files
  • Test labeled section transclusion extension


  • Planning


Problem Statement

The application help is part of the code base and is kept in the helpcontent2 project inside the code CVS. Changes to the help files require the same procedures as making changes to the code base. For many changes, this is unnecessary. This project looks into moving the maintenance of the application help to the OOo wiki allowing easy contributions from every member of the community.

Additionally, maintaining a working copy of the application help on the OOo wiki would easily allow to make use of internet search engines, wiki discussion features and linking.

Current Situation

Documentation dashboard helpcws1.png

There are two scenarios for working on the help content:

  1. Documenting new functionality
  2. Maintaining, complementing, bugfixing the help content

The first case requires close contact to the implementing developers and is best bound to the implementation process of the code. An engineer creates a CWS in which the feature is implemented. The technical writer joins that CWS and does corresponding help updates there. In the picture, these are the CWSs on the left side.

The second case is independent from the implementation process but still takes place inside a CWS that is exclusively for making changes in the help content. The tooling and administration around working on a CWS/CVS system makes it cumbersome to contribute. In the picture, these is the CWS on the right-hand side (helpCWS).

During the lifetime of the helpCWS, one or more help authors work on the help files which are based on a special XML format (xhp). Working in those still requires some tooling and framework to be set up that makes it hard to easily contribute.

Future Situation

Documentation dashboard helpcws2.png

The regular maintenance of the application help will be moved from the helpCWS to the OOo wiki. To allow for that, the owner of the application help (currently Uwe Fischer) will transfer the content from the helpCWS to the wiki, work on the content in the wiki (together with hopefully many contributors), and fetch it back to the helpCWS before a release.

Content on this page is licensed under the Public Documentation License (PDL).
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