[l2h] Support for a cross-platform HTML document viewer application (and .hhc files)

Ross Moore ross@ics.mq.edu.au
Mon, 26 Aug 2002 08:11:20 +1000 (EST)

Robert wrote:

> Hi,
> I tried out latex2html and it works great.
> I was wondering if there is any capacity to generate a
>  .hhc file (I looked through the documentation and
> couldn't find any mention).
> An .hhc file is a Html Help Contents file. It is just
> an SGML list of links to make a tree heirarchy of
> contents. It is used to make the MS Help .CHM files.
> However, there is now a free open-source
> cross-platform version of this type of help file spec.
> It is called HelpView. Some screenshots and download
> links are here:
> http://www.storylinescentral.com/helpview.htm

That looks quite nice, and is multi-platform.
> The nice thing is that it allows a user to do a nice
> client-side search of the html documents, on a
> book-to-book basis, as well as the compression of the
> html to shrink the needed harddrive space.

> The implementation is pretty straightforward. There is
> 3 parts:
> (a) The html documents, as generated by latex2html.
> (b) A .hhc file, which is exactly the same as the
> "Contents" hierarchy of hyperlinks in a latex2html
> document, except that <a> tags are replaced with
> <object> tags.

This sounds like it could be done quite easily, using the
information in the  contents.pl  or  sections.pl  files
that LaTeX2HTML produces for a job.
There is similar information in the  labels.pl  file as well,
allowing linking to places internal to the HTML pages,
rather than just to the start of each page or section.
> (c) A five line text file called a .hhp (html help
> project) file that just gives the name of the book,
> and tells which page is the first page to display.
> These 3 parts get zipped up into a single zip file
> which can be then distributed. The viewer application
> just reads the zipped file.

A script could be written that collects the required information
from the .pl files mentioned above. This would enable .hhc and .hhp
files to be created for existing LaTeX2HTML jobs, or it could
be run as a post-processor after new jobs.

> It seems like it wouldn't be more than a half-hour to
> implement, if the capacity isn't there already. My
> Perl skills are not strong, but I am willing to assist
> in any way.

When that post-processor script is fully working, then we can look
at ways to integrate it with the  latex2html  script itself,
if there is any advantage in doing so.

> Any comments?

Sounds like a nice task, that doesn't require any knowledge of
how LaTeX2HTML works, at least for creating a post-processor

Could someone pick this up as a small project ?

All the best,

	Ross Moore

> Best wishes,
> Robert
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