How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Vladimir Alexi » Mon, 17 Apr 1995 04:00:00



It's about time someone converts the Win API from WinHelp to HTML and puts it
on the web. I'm sick and tired of seeing answers of the sort "I would have
given you the exact syntax, but I don't have the Win API handy". I've done it
myself a number of times. Many people access the net through Unix accounts,
and don't have a PC handy.
  It would be a great service to the community. I guess the best way to do
the conversion is with HLPDK (assuming one cannot get hold of the sources).
Maybe Ron Loewy will do it himself? Ron, you're doing so much for us in
c.o.m.p.winhelp, I feel that we have already overused you. But it is a good
cause, and it would be some good adverti*t for your product. I can
volunteer to provide a WWW server, if the stuff is, say, less than 10Mb.
  Now there is the question of Microsoft's copyright. I think they won't have
any objection, but it would be great if someone from Microsoft responded to
this message.


 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Ron Loe » Mon, 17 Apr 1995 04:00:00




>It's about time someone converts the Win API from WinHelp to HTML and puts it
>on the web. I'm sick and tired of seeing answers of the sort "I would have
>given you the exact syntax, but I don't have the Win API handy". I've done it
>myself a number of times. Many people access the net through Unix accounts,
>and don't have a PC handy.
>  It would be a great service to the community. I guess the best way to do
>the conversion is with HLPDK (assuming one cannot get hold of the sources).
>Maybe Ron Loewy will do it himself? Ron, you're doing so much for us in
>c.o.m.p.winhelp, I feel that we have already overused you. But it is a good
>cause, and it would be some good adverti*t for your product. I can
>volunteer to provide a WWW server, if the stuff is, say, less than 10Mb.
>  Now there is the question of Microsoft's copyright. I think they won't have
>any objection, but it would be great if someone from Microsoft responded to
>this message.



Hi Vladimir,

I will not convert the Windows 3.1 API to HTML for the simple reason that
it will be illegal, the API belongs to Microsoft, and if they will not do
it, no one can.

I would suggest calling Microsoft and asking them to do that.

Ron.
--
Ron Loewy, Author of HLPDK/PA, CATMAK and Interactive Help  |


 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Vladimir Alexie » Wed, 19 Apr 1995 04:00:00



>MicroSoft (as someone else pointed
>out) are the people to do it. I believe they hold all the documentation
>in SGML anyway, so they are better placed than anyone to convert it to HTML.

Pull my finger. Some people on c.o.m.p.winhelp can tell stories of what they've
done to decode the winhelp format. Or take HAG: it was not before someone took
the time to capture thousands of screen shots when MS made the book publicly
available.
  History teaches us that often MS don't care much about what the community
wants. I'm not saying MS are not helpful to the community: the API is readily
available, BooksOnLine is a pretty useful thing, MSDN is great. But they have
their plans and priorities and I don't think it's easy to influence them.
  History also teaches us though that MS are quite reasonable about breaching
their copyright in a "reasonable" way. (There, I started the flames.) An
example is the HC which, although officially available only to registered users
of a
development product, is readily available on the net (and yes, I remember our
discussion on this from 4 months ago). And putting the API on the web seems
a most reasonable thing to me.

This said....

Quote:>Give them a ring/email but don't hold your breath!

OK, I will. But I need some advice as to who should I call. Because it may take
months to go through the hierarchy...

Regards, Vlad

 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by John Gra » Thu, 20 Apr 1995 04:00:00



>It's about time someone converts the Win API from WinHelp to HTML and puts it
>on the web. I'm sick and tired of seeing answers of the sort "I would have
>given you the exact syntax, but I don't have the Win API handy". I've done it
>myself a number of times. Many people access the net through Unix accounts,
>and don't have a PC handy.
>  It would be a great service to the community. I guess the best way to do
>the conversion is with HLPDK (assuming one cannot get hold of the sources).
>Maybe Ron Loewy will do it himself? Ron, you're doing so much for us in
>c.o.m.p.winhelp, I feel that we have already overused you. But it is a good
>cause, and it would be some good adverti*t for your product. I can
>volunteer to provide a WWW server, if the stuff is, say, less than 10Mb.
>  Now there is the question of Microsoft's copyright. I think they won't have
>any objection, but it would be great if someone from Microsoft responded to
>this message.



        This makes absolutely no sense at all.  If it's not readily
        available as a .HLP file, why should a .HTML version be more
        readily accessible?  People usually write Windows programs on
        their PC.  If I want help, I will just click on an icon for
        the local .hlp file - I certainly wouldn't make a Web connection
        to do so.  Besides, HTML, although slick & powerful would be
        a step backwards for accessing the API .HLP contents.
--

Airborne Geophysics
Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa
 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Vladimir Alexi » Fri, 21 Apr 1995 04:00:00



>    This makes absolutely no sense at all.  If it's not readily
>    available as a .HLP file, why should a .HTML version be more
>    readily accessible?

Because some people do internet from their Unix accounts.
Quote:>       People usually write Windows programs on their PC.
>       If I want help, I will just click on an icon for
>    the local .hlp file - I certainly wouldn't make a Web connection
>    to do so.

Correct. But if you are trying to help someone and you don't have a PC
handy, what do you do?
Quote:>       Besides, HTML, although slick & powerful would be
>    a step backwards for accessing the API .HLP contents.

Not necessarily. It's quite easy, and actually becoming standard, to setup
a fulltext search on the collection using WAIS. And not all people have
Books Online.
  Another advantage of WWW is that you have universal addressing of
topics. This is not a big deal when you're talking about one help file, but
if the initiative grows bigger, it will become important. You'll tell
someone "Read http://www.microsoft.com/BooksOnline/MFC/ODBC/Encyclopedia/
Snapshots.htm" instead of "RTFM about snapshots you lazy bum".
  And of course, WWW is not just hypertext, WWW is distributed hypertext.
So, in the API topic about window styles, we can add "take a look at this
<a href="ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/softlib/mslfiles/STYLES.ZIP">sample</a>
from Microsoft"

Your reasoning above is somewhat similar to someone who says "Why did they
spend so much money to make OED and Webster electronic? It's much easier to
get my copy from the shelf". BTW what do you think of Project Gutenberg?
How about the Gutenberg press? ;-)

Sorry John, couldn't resist the evil forces inside me.

Regards, Vlad

PS: Let's keep the discussion going. Can someone give me advice who should
I ask in Microsoft about the copyright?

 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Kent To » Sat, 22 Apr 1995 04:00:00




|>
|> >      This makes absolutely no sense at all.  If it's not readily
|> >      available as a .HLP file, why should a .HTML version be more
|> >      readily accessible?
|> Because some people do internet from their Unix accounts.
|> >       People usually write Windows programs on their PC.
|> >       If I want help, I will just click on an icon for
|> >      the local .hlp file - I certainly wouldn't make a Web connection
|> >      to do so.
|> Correct. But if you are trying to help someone and you don't have a PC
|> handy, what do you do?
|> >       Besides, HTML, although slick & powerful would be
|> >      a step backwards for accessing the API .HLP contents.
|> Not necessarily. It's quite easy, and actually becoming standard, to setup
|> a fulltext search on the collection using WAIS. And not all people have
|> Books Online.
|>   Another advantage of WWW is that you have universal addressing of
|> topics. This is not a big deal when you're talking about one help file, but
|> if the initiative grows bigger, it will become important. You'll tell
|> someone "Read http://www.microsoft.com/BooksOnline/MFC/ODBC/Encyclopedia/
|> Snapshots.htm" instead of "RTFM about snapshots you lazy bum".
|>   And of course, WWW is not just hypertext, WWW is distributed hypertext.
|> So, in the API topic about window styles, we can add "take a look at this
|> <a href="ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/softlib/mslfiles/STYLES.ZIP">sample</a>
|> from Microsoft"
|>
|> Your reasoning above is somewhat similar to someone who says "Why did they
|> spend so much money to make OED and Webster electronic? It's much easier to
|> get my copy from the shelf". BTW what do you think of Project Gutenberg?
|> How about the Gutenberg press? ;-)

While all of these is true, I'd much prefer having a WWW FAQ (a real one,
that can tell the newbies how to term-wait, how to gray a ctrl...).

--

Freeman Installer==> ftp.arch.su.edu.au /pub/tongk/fi21_a.zip + fi21_b.zip
Key Center of Design Computing, Sydney University

 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Paul Lowr » Sun, 23 Apr 1995 04:00:00


I can't see any real reason for putting the whole API on WWW.

BUT I would like to see all of Microsofts Release notes etc. which
are available on MS Technet (if you are rich enough to pay the
outrageous yearly subscription they demand).  In the Technet they have
fixes and work-around for lots and lots of problems (like how to
change the backtground colour of the MDI Client area) and how to
implement two views of the same CDocument in a SDI application. The
Technet covers ALL of MS software applications.....

I am still finding bits of MS API all over the place.  It would be
nice if there was one ftp site where one could obtain the appropriate
API on request.

Paul.

 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Scott J. Walt » Mon, 24 Apr 1995 04:00:00




Quote:}  Another advantage of WWW is that you have universal addressing of
}topics. This is not a big deal when you're talking about one help file, but
}if the initiative grows bigger, it will become important. You'll tell
}someone "Read http://www.veryComputer.com/
}Snapshots.htm" instead of "RTFM about snapshots you lazy bum".

An additional benefit is maintenance/updating.  WDDJ has started their "API
Annotation" listings, which catch and correct various bugs and behavi*
quirks of the API ... but having a dynamic document that incorporates these
discoveries into its database would provide a good source of what the
OnlineBooks API listings _don't_ tell you.

-Scotty
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 Scott J. "Scotty" Walter | "Ah'm sorrah, sir, I kinna fit annah muhr
                          |  muhr on th' floppy.  Y' jes kinna mess

---------------------------------------------------------------------
  "It's not a bug ... it's not a feature ... it's an ENHANCEMENT!!"

 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Sean O'De » Mon, 01 May 1995 04:00:00



: >on the web. I'm sick and tired of seeing answers of the sort "I would have
: >given you the exact syntax, but I don't have the Win API handy". I've done it
:       This makes absolutely no sense at all.  If it's not readily
:       available as a .HLP file, why should a .HTML version be more
:       readily accessible?  People usually write Windows programs on

I think I agree with what the guy said in his first paragraph.  When
answering questions, it would be great to have a link straight to an HTML
page that is the WinHelp equivalent.

As for a great service to the community...I have trouble imagining anyone
needed to peruse the Windows API who doesn't have a Windows development
environment which shipped with a .HLP file of it.

        -Sean

--
Sean O'Dell             Home Page:

"...it's like those French have a different word for everything."
        - S. Martin

 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by dander.. » Sun, 07 May 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>As for a great service to the community...I have trouble imagining anyone
>needed to peruse the Windows API who doesn't have a Windows development
>environment which shipped with a .HLP file of it.

>    -Sean

Sean,
    I have to disagree.  I develop in FoxPro for Windows, which gives
the programmer the ability to call functions from withing various
DLL's and Windows system calls, but you have to know the function
parameters and return values, etc.  This is a nice feature, but I have
found myself wishing I had a help file for the Windows API so that I
could make better use of the feature.  I stumble across things here
and there in my reading, but I would LOVE a completely detailed guide
to all the API calls.  I intend to learn C++ but don't have the money
to purchase a good package right now.  I feel that the guide SHOULD be
available to those like myself who develop in something other than one
of the "programming languages" that MS or other sell (C++, VB, etc.).

Dana

 
 
 

How about making the Win API available on the WWW?

Post by Jan Docek » Wed, 10 May 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

> >As for a great service to the community...I have trouble imagining anyone
> >needed to peruse the Windows API who doesn't have a Windows development
> >environment which shipped with a .HLP file of it.

> >       -Sean

> Sean,
>     I have to disagree.  I develop in FoxPro for Windows, which gives
> the programmer the ability to call functions from withing various
> DLL's and Windows system calls, but you have to know the function
> parameters and return values, etc.  This is a nice feature, but I have
> found myself wishing I had a help file for the Windows API so that I
> could make better use of the feature.  I stumble across things here
> and there in my reading, but I would LOVE a completely detailed guide
> to all the API calls.  I intend to learn C++ but don't have the money
> to purchase a good package right now.  I feel that the guide SHOULD be
> available to those like myself who develop in something other than one
> of the "programming languages" that MS or other sell (C++, VB, etc.).

> Dana

Dana,

If Fox Pro does give you this ability why does not the help files
come with it? It would be completely reasonable to assume that if
you add feature to a program then you document it.

Why don't you contact the manufacteror of Fox Pro and ask them
why this documentation is missing from your copy of Fox Pro?
That woudl be much better than asking people to break copyrights.
If the manufacturer of FOx Pro can't provide you with the nessesary
documentation you should consider to change data base tool.

/Jan

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