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Technique for Referencing a Second Help Document

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039462D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Koeller, PD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The technique enhances the on-line help provided for the IBM System 36 computer, which is presently on the market, by substituting the enhanced help instruction having the syntax: .help(label, document, folder) for the original instruction: .help(label) so as to allow the user to specify a tag that references a second help document. The IBM System 36 computer originally implemented a technique for providing on- line help by creating help documents with a text editor labeled "DW/36". These help documents contain special instructions (or labels) to identify unique locations in the document text. These labels are then used to provide context sensitive help on screens and prompts.

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Technique for Referencing a Second Help Document

The technique enhances the on-line help provided for the IBM System 36 computer, which is presently on the market, by substituting the enhanced help instruction having the syntax: .help(label, document, folder) for the original instruction: .help(label) so as to allow the user to specify a tag that references a second help document. The IBM System 36 computer originally implemented a technique for providing on- line help by creating help documents with a text editor labeled "DW/36". These help documents contain special instructions (or labels) to identify unique locations in the document text. These labels are then used to provide context sensitive help on screens and prompts. For example, if the user places their cursor at a screen prompt for "number of copies" and presses the help key, the on-line help document will be positioned to the text that describes the valid values for that screen prompt. Most products that use the S/36 on-line help document have only one document that contains all of the help text for the product. However, the need arose to have multiple help documents for the product with a way to make it appear to the end user as if there is only one help document for the product. To implement such a function the help tag instruction of DW/36 is enhanced to allow the user to specify a tag that references a second help document. The DW/36 text editor has implemented an embedded instruction (.help) that allows a document to be used as on-line help document that is referenced when the help key is pressed. This instruction has been enhanced as described herein to allow the user to specify the name of a second help document that is to be displayed when the label is referenced. The syntax of the enhanced help instruction is: .help(label,document,folder) where Label is the name of a help label (this is an existing parameter that is unchanged for this enhancement).

Document is the name of the second on-line help document that is

to be displayed when the label is referenced.

Folder is the name of the folder that contains the on-line help

document that was specified. For example, using the enhanced instruction, suppose a program product has a menu with three options on it. The first two options are part of the base function while the third option is a separate feature that a user can purchase. If the help text for this product is implemented using the S/36 on-line help facility, then the documentation for such a product...