Providing Help

Library developers can provide patches demonstrating different aspects of the library.

We distinguish 2 types of patches:

  • Overview: Typically a single patch per library giving an overview of the whole set of nodes the library provides

  • HowTo: A series of patches demonstrating how to achieve specific things using certain nodes provided by the library

In order to be picked up by the helpbrowser, those need to be put in the right place and follow the naming convention:

\help\Topic\Overview.vl
\help\Topic\HowTo Do Something.vl

Help Flags

A help flag is used to specify which how-to patch should open when a user presses F1 on a selected node.

In a how-to patch select the node you want this patch to open for as a help patch and press Ctrl+H. This sets a high-priority help flag. Press a second time to change it to low-priority, press a third time, to clear the help flag again.

..\..\images\helpflags a2c55.png
FileReader with a high-priority help flag, SplitToLines with low-priority

High vs. Low Priority

When pressing F1 on a node, the system will go through all help flags in all how-to patches of a library. If it encounters a high-priority help flag for the given node in a how-to patch, this patch will be displayed as the help patch. Therefore it only makes sense to specify a high-priority help flag once for each node!

..\..\images\helpflags 7a40e.png
The bubble indicating which node the help patch was opened for

After pressing F1, when the user decides to also view the Node Info for the node, the help browser will display a list of how-to patches that include the node with a low-priority help flag set. Therefor it makes sense to specify multiple low-priority help flags for the same node in different how-to patches to indicate that those could also be interesting when looking for use-cases of the given node.

Help flag indicator

Since the end-user doesn’t need to see the help flags, by default they are invisible when a help patch is opened. You can toggle the help flag indicator to show/hide help flags in this patch.

..\..\images\helpflags 21aea.png
The help flag indicator indicating that this how-to patch has help flags set.

Context

Help flags can only be set on nodes that are defined in the same package as the one the how-to patch belongs to. If you try to set a help flag on a node that is not defined in the same package as the how-to patch you’re working on, you’ll see the following warning:

..\..\images\helpflags 79980.png
Warning: Help flag cannot be set on this node

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