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 From:  Adam Nellemann <adam at nellemann dot nu>
 To:  seth at pachai dot net
 Cc:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] The MDP Initiative
 Date:  Fri, 28 May 2004 12:22:33 +0200
Seth Rothenberg wrote:

> A thought entered my mind, and
> before I chase it away, I thought I
> would share it - would there be
> value is having some context-sensitive help
> and/or examples, possibly as a loadable
> module?

Might be nice for newbies, and if done right, could even provide a 
nice reference of more advanced topics for the hardcore users!


> Or does that start to be bloat,
> excessive complexity, and totally
> unneeded?

Some people are bound to think so. Thus I'd like to suggest a solution 
that should prevent most, if not all, the "bloat":

Couldn't such context-sensitive help consist mainly of externally 
linked pages? Assuming someone would be willing to host the help files 
(html?) m0n0wall could simply link to these from the various webGUI 
pages (with a pop-a-new-window link of course, for easy 
cross-reference and cut'n'pasting.)

If done smartly (ie. some kind of "standard naming convention"), these 
context-help pages would even be easy to update and maintain, without 
having to be included in the next release. Also, since nothing is 
actually stored in m0n0wall itself, there wouldn't be a problem with 
frequent use of images for illustrating various concepts and for 
screenshots of the webGUI and whatnot.

I imagine that context-help links could be introduced in all relevant 
places in the webGUI in one go. To begin with the server would just 
serve an "under construction" page in most cases (possibly with a link 
to the doc project site and/or the mailinglist etc.) Then, along the 
way, these pages could be substituted for ones with actual help 
content (and/or examples etc.)

Well, just a thought...


Adam.