Common Desktop Environment: Help System Author's and Programmer's Guide

Registering Your Application and Its Help

The desktop's integration utility, dtappintegrate, registers your application and its help files by creating symbolic links between the installed application files and specific desktop directories. Application registration ensures that your help files are located in the directory search paths used by the Help System.

Registration enables two important features of the Help System:

Registering your online help makes it easier to access the help you provide. For authors and programmers, it's easier because references to your volume can use just the volume name -- without specifying the volume's actual location.

If you register a help family with one or more help volumes, you make your help available for general browsing from the Front Panel Help Viewer. This allows access to application-specific help without using the application. Or, if you are writing standalone help, this is the only way for users to get to your help.

Standalone Help

A standalone help volume for an application or a customized environment can be created using the Help System Developer's Kit. To make the help volume accessible from in the desktop browser volume, a system administrator installs the run-time help file, associated graphics, and family file in the /etc/dt/appconfig/help/language directory.

Remember that the run-time help file and its graphics files must be installed in the same relative position as when the help volume was built. See "Graphics Files" to review the installation of graphics files.

What Happens When the Application Is Registered

Application registration creates symbolic links from the run-time help file and family located in app_root/dt/appconfig/help/language to the /etc/dt/appconfig/help/language directory.

Refer to the CDE Advanced User's and System Administrator's Guide for detailed instructions for application registration.

How a Help Volume Is Found

The Help System uses desktop search paths to locate help volumes. When help is requested within an application or a help volume is specified in a command line, the help volume is found by checking a set of search path directories. You can control the directory search path for help volumes by modifying several environment variables. Refer to the CDE Advanced User's and System Administrator's Guide for detailed information about specifying search paths.