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

To Display Help on Help

  1. Create a quick help dialog (or retrieve one from your cache).

  2. Display in the dialog the home topic of your help on help volume.

    Help on help can be displayed in a general help window. However, a quick help dialog is recommended because its user interface is simpler, which is less intimidating to new users who commonly need help on help.


The following program segment is part of a HelpRequestCB() function. Presumably, the USING_HELP constant is passed to the function because the user chose Using Help from the application's Help menu or chose the Help button in a quick help dialog.

This example assumes that the application never creates more than one Help On Help dialog and maintains its widget ID in a variable called onHelpDialog.

   if (onHelpDialog == (Widget)NULL)
         /* Get a quick help dialog for use as the ` help on help' dialog. */
         onHelpDialog = FetchHelpDialog (True);
        if (onHelpDialog == (Widget)NULL)
           /* We didn't get a dialog! Add your error handling code here. */
   /* Set the proper volume and ID to display the home topic of
       the help on help volume. Also, set the dialog's title.   */
    ac = 0;   XtSetArg (al[ac], XmNtitle,  "Help On Help");     ac++;
    XtSetArg (al[ac], XmNhelpType,   DT_HELP_TYPE_TOPIC); ac++;
    XtSetArg (al[ac], XmNhelpVolume, "Help4Help");        ac++;
    XtSetArg (al[ac], XmNlocationId, "_hometopic");       ac++;
    XtSetValues (onHelpDialog, al, ac);
   /*  If the ` help on help' dialog is already managed, it might
        be in another workspace, so unmanage it.  */
    if (XtIsManaged (onHelpDialog))
      XtUnmanageChild (onHelpDialog);
   /* Manage the ` help on help' dialog. */
    XtManageChild (onHelpDialog);

To see how the rest of the HelpRequestCB() function might be structured, refer to the example in "To Add a Help Callback".

See Also