Writing for the HTML Help System:
Contributions are very welcome. If you wish to make a contribution to
the HTML Help System, please contact the maintainer:
The structure of the \help directory:
Lists the help languages installed on the system.
Loaded automatically if LANG is not set to an available language
and English (EN) not installed.
HELP will load this by default. %LANG% is the language selected by
setting the LANG environment variable. If LANG isn't set, EN is
HELP will load this when the user presses F1 or clicks on
"Help on Help".
Stores bookshelf files, for use with Aitor's bookshlf tool, to
create the language index (\help\index.htm).
COMMENT: Bookshelf is not in use at the moment!
Creating compressed help files:
You should use for your compressed file set a name such as:
If you wish to compress your help files, they should be in the
zip format. They should have the same filename as the directory
they are stored in, and the zip extension. For instance:
The index.htm can be inside the zip file, but help and bookshlf
will both work better if it is not.
Directory structures are allowed within the zip file. However,
encryption and some of the older and more obscure compression
methods are not supported.
Creating modified versions of the help files:
Use a distinct title on the title page (often index.htm) in any
modified versions. This is to avoid any confusion or conflicts,
and most importantly, is necessary under the
GNU Free Documentation License 1.1 part 4A.
In addition to changing the title, please update the history, list of
authors etc, in accordance with section 4 of the
GNU Free Documentation License 1.1.
If the file set is meant to describe a new or modified package, or if
the file set undergoes a fundamental change (e.g. a translation), then
it is best to use a distinct subdirectory name, as explained in "The
structure of the \help directory" above. This is simply a matter of
doing a find and replace on the subdirectory name in index.htm, and is
well worth it.
For example, a streamlined version of the "hhstndrd" file set might be
called "hhmicro". This would be the name of the subdirectory, and the
title in index.htm might be:
FreeDOS Hilfe (hhmicro 1.0)
It is reasonable to change only the version number (rather than the
name and directory "hhmicro") when releasing updates.
Creating or adding new files:
It is advised that the following license message be put at the end of
any new help files (unless it is going to be a stand alone file, not
included in a help file set):
<b>Copyright © 2008
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">My name</a></b><br>
This file forms part of The FreeDOS HTML Help Documentation, and is
covered under its terms, see:
Providing an email is entirely optional; if you load your help files on
to a website, then email addresses can be subjected to spamming.
The terms are the GNU Free Documentation License 1.1.
Editing a file stored in a zip:
You may wish to unzip the html files so that they can be read with
another browser, or to edit them. Zip files usually take priority over
uncompressed files; if you want to make sure that help reads an edited,
uncompressed version of a file, you should replace or delete the
original version inside that zip.
Testing help files:
The reference browsers for testing help files are:
* the FreeDOS HTML Help Viewer (help.exe)
* a Chromium derivative.
Unfortunately, help does not support table tags. Use the preformatting
tags <pre> </pre> for tables of information.
Press F5 or Ctrl+R to refresh the file being displayed by Help.The
effects of changes to the file can be seen immediately. Useful when
editing help files in a windows-type environment.
To use HTML Help Viewer to view files that aren't yet integrated into
the file set, the help path override switch can be used:
or if relative to the /HELP folder:
Additional comments by W. Spiegl:
Some additional bugs were fixed by Andy Stamp in version 5.3.5 of
Fixed the bug that there was a hang when a not existing language
was chosen. Now it falls back to English.
Fixed crash bugs with & entities in <H1> tags.
Added "& p e r c n t;" (%) and "& n u m;"(#) to avoid interpretation
The english version tries to use as less tags as possible to
avoid mistakes in html-code. The more tags you add the more complex
the translation will become and the more bugs have to be fixed!
Please do not mix tabs and spaces within the text, use spaces!
Please only use DOS "CR+LF" linefeed for new line.
Please avoid spaces at the end of lines.
Please do not write more than 74 characters per line!
Keep in mind that Htmlhelp.exe needs some space for left and right
frame! Run test tools to see if you use the correct Codepage!
Create the files with a Codepage version and an UTF-8 version
(recommended: Create Codepage version first!).
The htm files are also used for AMB! They have to be transformed
first, this is documented at AMBHELP.
A history of the HTML documentation
Tags supported by HTML Help
To-Do-list for the HTML documentation
Copyright © 2003 - 2004 Robert Platt, updated 2008 and 2023
by W. Spiegl.
This file is derived from the FreeDOS Spec Command HOWTO.
See the file H2Cpying for copying conditions.