LibreOffice’s help system needs to evolve and be more effective for users.
LibreOffice’s help system was designed in 2003-2004 and released in 2005. Since then it has not evolved, except for the introduction of an online version hosted in a wiki server (and accessible from LibreOffice when the local help is not installed).
I worked recently to transform our ancient help system into a modern browser-based version. The partial result is available in the (temporary) website at https://helponline.libreoffice.org – please be advised that this is still work in progress.
The XML help pages are transformed into pure, almost static and responsive HTML. This approach has some advantages:
- Works in every browser
- Provides the current functionality of the help system
- Preserves the current development, help authoring, release engineering and translation process as it is
- You can read the help pages in your mobile phone or tablet
- It’s easy to add extra markup for better search engine indexing
The disadvantage is an increase in disk storage on the server.
Transforming XML into HTML for every browser
The new Help page layout benefits of many modern technologies