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This is the first crack of a possible spec for the freature of being able to search through external help files for keywords.

  • help patches are located in a central place (or at least a minimal number of known locations like extra/). (they need not be browsable since they would be browsed by CatagoriesForExternals in the PD help menu) This makes it easier to parse the help-files for searching. It would be great if objects added to a user-specific place ~/Library/pd/extra were also indexed.
  • help patches ALL subscribe to a standard layout which contains comment(s) starting with: "KEYWORDS:" which starts a string of keywords used for searching. eg: spigot-help.pd would contain something like "KEYWORDS: gate flow control switch" The standard may also include information that shows how the help-patch fits into the CatagoriesForExternals For example the topmost comment could be: "Help for spigot - Control - Flow"
  • The PD search system would go through all the -help patches in the helppath and generate a datafile that contains only the filename of the patch and the KEYWORD strings it contains. The file would make searching faster and only be generated when the search function is chosen (only the first time the search function is used) AND everytime the "Update Search List" function is initiated. The database could be generated at PD startup, but this would delay PD loading.
  • The entire help-search system will be written in tcl/tk and integrated into PD.
  • It would be handy if the index file also contained the DESCIPTION from the PD comments, this way it would be easier to assess the value of search results.


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