Author Topic: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual  (Read 760 times)

Offline Drakmar

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HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« on: October 12, 2016, 07:02:26 PM »
This is a project I've been working on as time permits, but I've got a basic WIP available to those who are interested. Along with this, I'd like to figure out a way to hook either the web-based link into the game itself, or find a way to "compile" it in such a way that it can be used offline by Outpost 2. I'm currently working towards modernizing the overall look with a refresh "style" and appropriate icons to replace the navigation buttons.

For those who don't know, the original ".HLP" is incompatible with versions of Windows above Vista (or XP, I can't recall), and completely incompatible with non-Windows based operating systems. Hence the need for such a project.

Let me know what you guys think!

HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual (WIP)

EDIT: Just saw that the new wiki already has a lot of this done, so this may be redundant now. :P
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 07:10:05 PM by Drakmar »

Offline Vagabond

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2016, 09:27:29 PM »
Drakmar,

I was planning on asking how difficult it would be to repoint the help menu option to open a browser to the Outpost 2 online manual we have started in the wiki here: http://wiki.outpost2.net/doku.php?id=outpost_2:outpost_2_manual:online_manual. Guess you beat me to the punch.

The manual you are working on is interesting. It looks like it is re-printing the Outpost 2 manual exactly how it existed, even including the sales/customer support information.

I think just offering the link to an online manual is sufficient since internet is becoming so widespread.

I like pointing people to the wiki because it opens up a lot more Outpost Universe content to them then a separate help manual. Things like the listing of all maps, online version of novella, all the Outpost 1 wiki pages, and access to information on the Outpost 2 API.

-Brett

Offline Hooman

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 04:24:36 PM »
Interesting. I guess the wiki is a good choice for a lot of that info. Still, you have me thinking. There was something I've been looking into lately. You can use the HTML5 Application Cache to make offline web pages. That allows you to visit a page while online, have it download to your cache, and still be able to revisit the page even while you're offline. Very convenient when used with bookmarks. For a working example regarding documentation, you can check out the DevDocs website. I stumbled across it just today. It contains documentation for various programming languages and libraries. It even lets you choose what sets you want to download for offline viewing, and can let you know if something needs to be updated.

Offline Drakmar

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 01:23:45 AM »
Looks interesting! I'll poke around this weekend and see what I can figure out in that case. If we could pull a webapp pointing to the Wiki's manual pages, and somehow hook that into the game's help button (which AFAIK is hardcoded to that HLP file) then it could effectively replace the antiquated functionality.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 01:50:09 PM »
This could be a super useful update to the game. Make that button useful again and, even better, make the help available to newcomers.

Offline Vagabond

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 02:44:39 PM »
Could we setup the ingame help menu to open up a popup window allowing selecting either online or offline help?



I think targeting http://wiki.outpost2.net/doku.php?id=outpost_2:outpost_2_manual and all subcontent would encompass the pages needed for an offline manual. Would this software be able to preseve links to the rest of the wiki/internet. For example, if clicking on a link for the wiki homepage, would it be smart enough to take you to the online manual since this page would not be in the offline version?

Offline Arklon

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2016, 09:28:47 AM »
It'd probably be easier to just have a link to the online help in the offline file than hack that in.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2016, 07:36:45 PM »
Okay, so I tried to do a conversion from winhelp (HLP) to compiled HTML (CHM) and... yeah. Apparently not nearly as simple as I thought it would be and the Outpost 2 help file is apparently far more detailed than I expected. Seems like this will actually be a real project.

Offline Drakmar

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Re: HTML-Based Outpost 2 Help Manual
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2016, 03:23:36 PM »
Might be simpler in the end to take the wiki pages and compile them into a CHM, which would have the added benefit of the updated appearance as well as any newly added (in comparison) notes or statistics that the original HLP file did not have or was incorrect.