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Add: Help and manuals window #7786

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Add: Help and manuals window #7786

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@nielsmh
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nielsmh commented Oct 20, 2019

image

Right now, this replaces the Highscore button on the main menu. Maybe the Highscore button should stay, definitely up for discussion.
It also adds this choice to the in-game help/about menu.

Several issues:

  • The changelog file is too long for the text file viewer. Currently scrollbars are limited to 65535 items, so this should be expanded. Probably best handled by a separate change/fix.
  • Markdown does not look very nice in the viewer. Can be solved by making the viewer process markdown to make it look better, or by shipping processed files with the game.
  • The location of documentation files is not entirely reliable, especially on Unix and Linux systems, the packaging has several places it could put them (though typically under /usr/share somewhere.) The file searching needs to be improved.
  • For some reason the COPYING file (with no extension) does not get displayed, even though my debugger says it is being read into memory.
  • It seems to be an open question whether TT-Forums is sufficiently official to warrant being linked from inside the game.
  • The Markdown parsing should be moved out of the Help window so it can be used for user content as well.
@James103
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James103 commented Oct 20, 2019

Currently scrollbars are limited to 65535 items

This is probably why the game crashes when you generate too many news messages at once (#7613).

@nielsmh nielsmh force-pushed the nielsmh:helpwindow branch 2 times, most recently from 9d4f02c to 958df3c Dec 28, 2019
@nielsmh
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nielsmh commented Dec 28, 2019

Some fancyness: Internal anchor links are green, and web links are blue. Both work, though at most one link per (source file) line.

image

Possibly also to do: Make links to other files work, and add a back button.

@nielsmh
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nielsmh commented Dec 28, 2019

Does anyone have suggestions for how to best handle the "finding the right path for the docs files" problem? In particular on Unix-y systems where the docs may be in /usr/share/openttd while the binary may be in /usr/bin. Are any of the existing search paths useful for this, or is a new one necessary?

@James103
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James103 commented Feb 16, 2020

Commit checker: Expected — Waiting for status to be reported (Required)

a) Can you please re-run the checks, preferably by rebasing this PR?

@nielsmh nielsmh force-pushed the nielsmh:helpwindow branch from 0abda6f to 2055dab Feb 16, 2020
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nielsmh commented Feb 16, 2020

Can maybe make more of the changelog viewable with the scrollbar fix in #8006 too. Although the text file viewer is already slow with many lines.

@nielsmh
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nielsmh commented Feb 24, 2020

@TrueBrain mentioned that he'd like if the Markdown parsing was moved around, so it could also be used for user content and basesets.

There's also a question of where to put the feature on the main menu. Is it really the right thing to do, to remove the highscore table button?

@LordAro
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LordAro commented Feb 24, 2020

I know I've never (intentionally) clicked it :)
TBH, I'm not sure anyone would much mind if the highscore table was removed entirely...

@sheepo99
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sheepo99 commented Apr 27, 2020

Linking to the manual is nice, but I do not see the purpose for all the other buttons. Why providing players with links to resources mostly aimed at developers who would end up consulting the documentation with the same info either way? This makes no sense from a user experience POV, much less as a replacement for the highscore board, which is an actual user experience feature.

@nielsmh
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nielsmh commented Apr 27, 2020

Which of my proposed buttons are mostly aimed at developers?

  • The readme file is intended for end users, it contains various installation information.
  • The changelog is intended for end users, to know what changed between versions.
  • The known bugs file is intended for end users, to learn about standing (and possibly unfixable) issues.
  • The license is actually required to be viewable from within the program according to the terms of the license. And it is intended for end users to know their rights regarding copying the program and obtaining the source code.
  • Official website, official wiki, community forum, are intended for end users, to know where the actual developers reside and what the official source for the game is. (If gaming magazine cover CDs were still a thing, they would have even more raison d´etrê.)
  • Report a bug is there so end users can know where the actual place to report bugs is, and protect themselves and us from discussing issues in places none of us would learn about it.
  • Community forums is there to point to the traditional home.

As for replacing the high score screen, nobody ever said that was a final decision. However the high score game mechanic makes little sense today, since the scoring is rather arbitrary, and does not take difficulty, game settings, or mods into account. The entire main menu experience is kind of weird considering all the extensions and changes to gameplay, e.g. the four big landscape selection buttons pertain to new games only but are front and center. A completely redesigned main menu could offer a much better location for a help and manuals button.

@sheepo99
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sheepo99 commented Apr 27, 2020

I completely agree that the main menu requires a redesign, and if modding does indeed make the scoreboard irrelevant, then it should go. My proposition for the time being, however, would be to add all the relevant info to the About window (which already contains the link to the website), and add a new button for it either from the Options window, or the main menu. This is for example what OpenRCT2 does:

image

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