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IDLE built-in help in Linux vs Windows

P: n/a
In Windows if you click the Help dropdown, IDLE launches a help window
as it should. The help contents are included in the installation.

In Linux, clicking Help launches a web browser, which is a perfectly
good UI for viewing help. However, instead of loading a static HTML
file from the disk like the Windows version does, it visits the doc
directory on python.org over the internet.

Is there any reason for that? It's noticably slower even over
broadband, painful over dialup, and unusable if you're not connected
to the net at all.
Jul 16 '06 #1
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P: n/a
Paul Rubin wrote:
In Windows if you click the Help dropdown, IDLE launches a help window
as it should. The help contents are included in the installation.

In Linux, clicking Help launches a web browser, which is a perfectly
good UI for viewing help. However, instead of loading a static HTML
file from the disk like the Windows version does, it visits the doc
directory on python.org over the internet.

Is there any reason for that? It's noticably slower even over
broadband, painful over dialup, and unusable if you're not connected
to the net at all.
>From a brief look at the code...
On any platform, IDLE will open http://www.python.org/doc/current if it
can't find Python's help files locally.

IDLE searches for these local help files in several places, different
places per platform.

On linux, it first checks for the /var/www/html/python/ directory. If
that exists index.html is read from there, otherwise it tries
/usr/share/doc/python-docs-2.4.3/Doc/index.html (replace 2.4.3 with
your Python version). If neither exists, it will open the help fiel
from it's web location.

So I guess your installation simply didn't put the help files in either
of these places... If you find the docs on your computer, you could
either copy them to one of these locations, or edit
Lib\idlelib\EditorWindow.py to open it from wherever you find them.
According to the code, IDLE will ignore what seems to be the standard
location of these docs: os.path.join(sys.prefix, 'Doc', 'index.html')
I'm not too big on where Python's doc files are located on
installations on different platforms. Could somebody who knows explain?

Jul 17 '06 #2

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