| From James Crook <crookj@...>
| Thu, 18 Oct 2007 19:27:47 +0100
| Subject: [Audacity-devel] HelpText.cpp
| > 1. Do I presume you cannot backspace to go back with this HTML viewer?
| > 2. Can the Welcome Message be changed so that it is a normal separate
| > window (like Undo History) that can be task-switched between while using
| > the rest of the program?
| Both can be added, but I'm reluctant to. It will encourage us to make
| the built in help longer and longer. My original aim was that each
| built-in help screen should be under the scrolling limit. The splash
| screen was never intended as a replacement for a browser and local help
| files. If people have local help files, and I think they should, then
| it would be better if clicking on the link for recording help in the
| first welcome screen would open the local help on recording, in a real
| browser, not a cut down version of help in a cut down browser as we have
| here... That's how I'd like to handle it.....
| I'd suggest that for 1.3.4 I add the ability to detect and use local
| html files in a browser if they are present, rather than implementing
| 1&2, which could be aim-tos for 1.5. Local html help gives a better
| experience for the user, if those files are present.
Notwithstanding, and without any intention to make the built-in help longer,
I still think we should make the Welcome Message a separate window.
I am not 100% clear from what you state below but I think you're
suggesting that if local HTML is available the user won't be able to
access even (say) the Playing Audio text inside the Welcome Message
browser, but that the link to this page on the first page of the welcome
will open the external browser. If so, it would not worry me that much
with an always on broadband connection but I am not so sure about
someone with a flaky dial up. If I am disconnected from the internet then
launch a local html page with no external links in it whatsoever in Internet
Explorer, IE will still attempt to launch the connection unless it was exited
last time in offline mode. Also I am not sure with the basic HTML we have
how much better the experience really is in a web browser. I suspect more
than a few users would prefer as much help as possible to stop inside the
Welcome Message window, especially if the user can keep it open and use
Audacity at the same time.
For those who can't access local HTML for some reason, then if you look for
example at even one of the simplest screens (Playing Audio), without clicking
away to any links, it has file paths mentioned. At present you'd have to write
those down or remember them before you can either see or access the menu
dropdowns in Audacity. If you look at the editing page there are no links there
at all, so you are dependent on that page. In that case I think you'd expect to
be able to access the program whilst familiarising yourself with the page. Even
if you are in a browser, you have still got to physically close the Welcome
Message before you can task switch between browser and Audacity and play
with Audacity itself. So I'd still recommend being able to task switch into and
out of the Welcome Message now, and not wait to do this in 1.5.
Also what is the feeling now on retaining some kind of inbuilt (HTML) help in
Audacity, vis a vis a PDF manual downloaded or included in the installers?
Whatever the principal Help is, I think we should refer to this in the Welcome
Message shouldn't we?
| (usual case) IF local html help is available, only the welcome page is
| shown in that window. Clicking on a link in it opens a browser onto
| your local help files.
| (rare case) IF local html help is not available, each link from the
| welcome page takes you to a very brief outline of what you need to know.
| My preference would be that for recording it fits on one screen,
| telling you what you need to do but not how:
| 1 * You need to set the recording device.
| 2 * Set the input source, if there is a choice.
| 3 * Set the input volume so neither too soft or too loud.
| There can be a link from these to the more detailed instructions on the
| internet that say how to do these steps
| and also the link to the wiki recording troubleshooting page.
| The point is the user now knows what they need to know, and where
| to find out how, and that is a very big
| step forward for them. If they are on the internet, they can open the
| detailed files immediately.
Apart from the Wiki recording links, where is the actual specific text that
you are proposing to link to for items 1, 2, and 3 above so as to replace
that which is currently in the recording page itself? Are you proposing to
hive off that replaced text "as is" to its own local HTML page? In that
case items 1) and 2) won't really have enough text to be sensible as
their own page. Item 3) possibly would. If you are thinking of Wiki external
links to replace 1) , 2) and 3) then we don't really have them except as partly
relevant sections of larger pages. I can help padding out text here if you need
me to, of course.
Similarly I am not totally clear where the file format help is going to point to.
Will this be a local HTML file something like the one I wrote, or go to the
FAQ on the subject, which has got to be rewritten anyway for 1.4 along
much the same lines? I'd think local is always better, even in a browser,
and keep the need for an internet connection to the minimum (detailed Wiki
pages that might depend on other Wiki links for maximum usefulness).
Outbound message virus free.
Tested on: 10/22/2007 3:15:59 AM