Profiles in Devhelp

I’m at the GNOME Development Experience Hackfest in Berlin, and one of the things that I wanted to target during these days was to keep on looking at how we can enable different profiles in Devhelp.

devhelp-profiles

As you probably know, Devhelp will show you the documentation of libraries installed in your system (usually only if you have the -devel or -docs package of the library installed). While this is already enough for most users, there is also the case where a developer wants to target a different version (older or newer) of the library than the one installed in the system.

A typical case for this is developing applications using GNOME’s jhbuild infrastructure, targeted either to a given GNOME release or to git master of the involved modules. In this case, if you want to use new methods of let’s say GTK+, you usually end up needing to fire up a web browser and looking for the latest GTK+ documentation either in developer.gnome.org or in your jhbuild’s ${prefix}/share/gtk-doc/html directory.

In order to avoid this, I’m prototyping some ideas to let the users switch between different profiles, e.g.:

  • The ‘local’ profile, which is equivalent to what Devhelp currently shows.
  • A user-defined ‘jhbuild’ profile, which could point to the install prefix of the jhbuild setup.
  • Other user-defined profiles, which could point to other prefixes where the user has installed the newer (or older) libraries and their documentation.
  • Profiles for each new GNOME release, e.g. 3.12, which could get downloaded from developer.gnome.org as a tarball containing all documentation for a given release.

The most challenging case is probably the last one, given that it would require some extra work in the website in order to make sure the documentation tarball is generated and published in every new release, plus of course client-side management of these downloaded profiles in Devhelp.

For now this is just a basic set of ideas, the final result may or may not be similar; we’re of course open to suggestions!

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Posted on May 1, 2014, in Development, FreeDesktop Planet, GNOME Planet, GNU Planet, Planets and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Jon convinced me at the hackfest that one always wants to use the documentation generated from the latest sources, within the same major release. So currently, one would use either the latest Gtk+2 or Gtk+3 documentation, which should contain information about any deprecations and when each symbol was introduced.

  2. aleksander

    Yes, that makes total sense. This actually goes a bit inline with the downloadable doc bundles with each gnome release. One could configure a ‘latest’ profile which would map to the docs of the newest gnome release.

  1. Pingback: Links 3/5/2014: Chromebook Announcement Imminent, ARM Deception | Techrights

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