OOo OnlineHelp

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Refer to this page instead: Documentation/Dashboard/Application Online Help

Application Help (aka Online Help) - What is it?

The Application Help is the user documentation that is installed together with the software.

In former times (before the web), the word 'online' had the meaning of something that is available immediate, without any delay, without waiting for the pile of punchcards to get processed by the operators. And years later, getting connected to other computers by a phone line most often meant to wait for a long time. Today most users have instant access to the web without noticable delays, and many users do not know those early times of communication. The term 'Online Help' today is recognized as a term for 'help on the web'.

The help authors follow these naming conventions: The installed help file set is the Application Help. The titles of some Wiki pages, the category name, and the mailing list still contain the term 'online'. We will not change these, because they are online, on the web.

The Application Help of consists of several parts, which are invoked by different means:

- The "normal" Help pages that you can read in the Help Viewer.

- The Extended Tip Help.

- The Help Agent.

Currently the Help is the same as the StarOffice Help. The Sun Documentation Team at StarOffice in Hamburg writes and compiles the Help, which is then used for, too. Variables in the source code, for example '%PRODUCTNAME', ensure that the Help Viewer displays the correct text.

Editing Help

Sun authors write and edit the sources almost exclusively, but this does not mean that this will stay so forever. In times of 1.0, the Help compiling process has been a bit complicated, so it was not easy for an external developer to compile a Help.

With OpenOffice 2.0, a new Help file format was introduced, which is based on XML. The tooling and the compiling processes were added to the normal compiling methods, so that building an own Help is now 'as easy as' building an own OOo version. Just add the helpcontent2 module to your CWS.

The Sun Microsystems, Hamburg, documentation team strongly encourages everyone to actively participate in improving the Help. We know that it can get difficult, when you need to learn about CVS, CWS, Building, but having mastered all these skills will sure look very good in your CV! We will try our best to help you.

How to Help

There are different 'levels' how to get a better Help, of which you can choose what fits best to your skills and the time and efforts you want to donate to the community.

Phase 1: Report bugs

Phase 2: Submit patches

Phase 3: Fix issues

Phase 4: Create and modify Help

Phase 5: Sponsor a Help area

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