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Re: [perlhelp] some notes on windows problems

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Peter Prymmer
October 10, 2001 19:15
Re: [perlhelp] some notes on windows problems
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On Fri, 28 Sep 2001, Michael G Schwern wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 28, 2001 at 05:17:19PM +0300, Jarkko Hietaniemi wrote:
> > I'm now dimly recalling at least some of what I had to change in old
> > perldoc.bat.  First off, using $$ to generate a reasonably unique
> > tempfilespec doesn't work nicely under MSWin, because:
> Anything wrong with File::Temp?

AFAIK there is nothing wrong with File::Temp on any flavor of Windows.
I've only used it much on NT and 2000 Professional though.  Apologies for
entering this discussion so late.  From subsequent in box stuff it appears
that Andy Dougherty concurred with the notion of using File::Temp.

> > So that, plus just basic interface design (i.e., is bone stupid,
> > besides not being a GUI), led me to think that behavior of perldoc under
> > MSWin should not be to pipe to, but instead to pipe output to a
> > temp file, and open that temp file in a text editor, like write.exe (which
> > kicks open wordpad under MSWin98 -- not sure what it does under MSWin95).
> > Or start.exe, which just opens the file with whatever application is
> > associated with that extension.
> Hmmm... if there's a Pod to Windows Help converter around somewhere
> that might be useful.
> And hey, there it is:
> excepting that it seems to require some Visual Studio utilities.  Damn.

That document is referring to a Pod::Rtf converter (which is in turn based
on Pod::Parser internally).  There were some pod-isms that were
specifically tuned to the quirks of the win help "compiler"'s notion of
RTF in the pod2rtf conversion process.  IIRC the package still lacked a
pod collator but now with Pod::Find I suppose it may not need one exactly.

One should note a couple of things with that module: 0) RTF conversion to
*.hlp is now considered passe' by Microsoft.  My understanding is that in
the latest visual studio releases that certain *.htm file types are used
as raw input to a help compiler. 1) there are other pod2rtf converters out
there.  In the follow up to this message Sean Burke mentioned his and I
think that Kenneth Albanowski's Pod::RTF is probably worth a look at.
Note also that Activestate distributes a binary installer (InstallShield?)
that plunks down a perl*.htm tree for you and links you Windows browser to
look at the local disk copy of the *.htm converted files.

Strictly speaking I would like to see a fully hyperlinked windows help
collection of the perl doc set - but it is an extremely low priority for
me right now.

Peter Prymmer

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