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LYNX-DEV Re: Organization of -help output

From: Will Mengarini
Subject: LYNX-DEV Re: Organization of -help output
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 1997 05:43:23 -0800 (PST)

Al Gilman <address@hidden> writes:

>The response to 'lynx -help' should fit in 80X24 characters, and
>cover the basics.  It should end with instructions on how to get
>more information, including reminding the user how to get to the
>User's Guide. [...] should hyperlink to where [...] Note that
>there is the precedent of 'lynx -book' which argues that 'lynx
>-help' should start lynx with lynx_help_main as the startfile.

I very much like the idea of an 80x24 initial response.  However, I
suspect it's a mistake for lynx -help to start lynx with lynx_help_main
as the startfile.  The problem is that the help requester may have
Lynx in a state in which it isn't running usably; for example, is
starting up with the wrong character set.  The initial response should
be pure dumb-terminal line-oriented text.  By the time people get Lynx
*working* they can access its help mechanism from inside it.  (Remember
that if User Mode is "novice", there's a mini-menu at the bottom of
the screen including mention of the H)elp key.)  Only at that point
can we first safely assume that we can give them help in hypertext.

>If there is to be a list this long, it should
>be 'lynx -options' or something else.  And also
>end with a "for more information" instruction.

People troubleshooting the initial Lynx startup are probably better
off not needing to navigate thru layers of menus (remember this
is before they have hypertext working) to get information.  And
anybody who is qualified to do such troubleshooting probably
knows how to use a pager like the "more" or "most" programs.  I
think -options should just produce a single alphabetized list.

Will Mengarini <address@hidden> This .sig has been accessed [INLINE] times
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