I know this issue has come up before, but it still hasn't been resolved. When
you select a property sheet or any of its individual properties and press F1,
the help system still displays help for the Explorer node whose properties are
being displayed, and not for the property sheet.
We'd like to resolve this by putting a help button in the property sheet
toolbar which would only call the help ID for the property sheet or fronted
I am confused. This looks like two separate issues.
1. You say that the system for displaying help from the active
property sheet or property, where such help is set, is not working? If
so, that is a regression (DEFECT) to be filed in openide/explorer with
*exact* steps to reproduce on a small test case to make sure it gets
fixed and stays that way. If this is the case, please open a separate
issue, do not add comments here.
2. Request for a help button to be added to the property sheet, which
I will assume this issue is for. Need details of expected behavior:
should it always be present? Enabled or greyed out when there is no
specific help for properties of the node (only generally for the
node)? Also what should it do with property-specific help? Should it
attempt to find help for the property with focus, if any? What if not?
Etc. Also need an icon for the button, ask Bruce Lee I suppose.
Help button behavior:
1. Always present.
2. Enabled or greyed out depending on whether property sheet-level
help is available.
3. Displays help for the fronted tab only.
4. Doesn't look for property-level help. Right now this doesn't exist
anyway, in the future we'll probably handle it with popups and What's
This help cursor.
Icon's being worked on. Let me know if you need a working copy as a
I really don't think a UI enhancement qualifies as 3.3.2_CANDIDATE.
3.3.2 fixes are supposed to be for critical bugs, which this hardly is
I back up the 3.3.2_CANDIDATE status, because AFAICT it is a low-risk fix with high
value for docs. Also, late UI changes are discouraged largely because they make life
harder for docs. This is a UI change that would make life better for docs.
I definitely think is a 3.3.2_CANDIDATE; while 3.3.2 is for critical
fixes, the button would add value to the IDE help's usability, and
improved usability is one goal for Orion help. In addition, it is a
Is anyone actively working on this issue? I understand that Docs would
like to see this implemented soon, but I'm not sure if it's complete
from the design point of view and if something is going to implement
the necessary logic in the property sheet. Is HIE aware of this issue?
Are you guys fine with the proposed solution?
I have a working patch for this in the trunk, will attach when I get a chance. Seems to work fine. For
now, attaching a sample class which is useful for demoing different kinds of help IDs; drop in correct
package, compile against openide.jar, run with Internal Execution.
Created attachment 5100 [details]
Created attachment 5118 [details]
Proposed patch (see also next attachment)
Created attachment 5119 [details]
Image to be placed in openide/src/org/openide/resources/propertysheet/help.gif (PROVISIONAL)
Jirko, as property sheet owner do you want to take over from here?
I.e. review the proposed patch, commit to trunk, and commit this or a
similar patch to orion_fcs (with INF and setting milestone to FFJ 4.0
etc.). With JavaOne etc. approaching I am not sure I can physically
get this committed myself, but the attached patch seems to work fine
in the trunk and meets John's design requirements 1-4. There are
probably small changes that need to be made to work against release33
code, but I believe the basic code involved here is similar.
Note that a final icon should be provided (Bruce Lee?) before
committing to orion_fcs, to avoid the need to make a second
I tested the patch only with the previously attached test class. I
know there are a couple of real features in the IDE that use
sheet-level help (WEB-INF objects??) but was not sure how to actually
use them in the UI so as to test.
I'm still looking for HIE's opinion on this. I'm told that the
property sheet toolbar is going to disappear entirely in NB 3.4. If
this is really the case, does it make sense to add more buttons to it
Good question - should probably be brought up on nbui. If e.g. the
toolbar were replaced by a popup menu available in the property sheet,
then "Help" would be a menu item there, I guess. Maybe "Help on
Properties" or "Help on Expert", or if applicable "Help on Name" if
you right-click on the "Name" row.
Yes, it makes sense to add the Help button now because Netbeans 3.3.2
will be the basis for the upcoming release of Forte for Java 4.0, a
product that will be sold to customers for about a year and will not
have the benefits of changes to Netbeans 3.4. The usability problem
of discovering and then getting help for property sheets has been an
issue for over two years now, and if it is not solved in 3.3.2, it
will continue to be a problem for paying customers for at least
Given the comments made here, a P2 priority may be more appropriate
Hmm. HIE isn't aware of a plan to remove the toolbar from the
properties sheet in 3.4. At least, I'm not and Dirk Ruiz is not.
Perhaps *that* should be brought up on nbui before we start worrying
about how it would affect a help button.
The issue was filed on 2/22/2002 as a P3 defect (2 days later changed
If the users have been suffering so badly for two years and if it's so
urgent, why hasn't it been reported earlier? Why didn't it appear on
the 3.3 requirements list? Why is it a P3?
The policy we've been following for dot-dot releases so far says "No
new features. Bug fixes only". This issue doesn't seem to meet this
Created attachment 5134 [details]
help button for toolbars
Jesse, please use the icon I attached for the help button.
Let me know if you need a greyed out version for when help
Implemented in main trunk. Waited for conclusion for integrate in
orion_fcs and for final design of help button.
fixed in the main trunk
Created attachment 5148 [details]
a binary patch for testing in orion builds
I have attached a jar file with patch. You can copy this file to
<ide_home>/lib/patches and test a cooperation with module which
provide the help ids for property sheets. Warning: the button for help
is only temporary and it is waited for redesign and more it is
usually disabled because the most modules don't provide the help ids
for property sheet.
Paul, since this largely affects your modules, you could test this
patch in an orion build?
I have not installed the patch and tested it, but I'm not sure I
understand what is needed graphically. But I looked at the icon that
John posted, and then checked with Jan Benway. This, we agree is the
icon to use for this purpose. So I need to know what the graphics
issues are. Icon too jaggy? Need disabled version? Too big? Too small?
I just need to know specifically what is needed and I'll be happy to
Ok, Bruce see :
issue 21789 and issue 21794.
The issues about help button are based on wrong size of icon firstly.
Help button has 24x24px size w/o transparency background, the others
button on property sheet panel have 16x16px size w/ transparency
background. There is only one icon for each button; switching
enabled/disabled state is performed by
swing.AbstractButton.setEnabled(boolean). I'm going to attach
customize button's icon e.g. you can look on. I hope this information
Created attachment 5188 [details]
a demonstration button
Created attachment 5195 [details]
Added attachment for disabled icon, by request. But remember,disabled
icons are done in the rest of the IDE by putting a gray alpha channel
over the icon. I think we should match the same method for this button
also, so we don't become a special case. If this prooves too
difficult, or can't be done in the time alloted, use the icon in the
sorry, but it is pretty misunderstanding. We do not want a disabled
icon but a icon for help button in property toolbar with right *size*
and *transparent* background. I'm going attach new placeholder
(reworked a little), it is fixed in main trunk. It could used in
orion_fcs branch IMHO. Bruce look on it pls. for review it is
acceptable. I assign issue about this icon on Bruce.
Created attachment 5206 [details]
a new placeholder
Created attachment 5216 [details]
I posted this to another list. (there are three or four threads going
on about this now) and thought you had the original. Just posted it.
If you need anything else, please post.
thanks, this icon is fine (especially about size and transparency).
I'm suppose it is final resolution I'm going to ask for approval for
integrate to orion_fcs.
commited to orion_fcs branch
Verified in build 20020328.
verified in [orion_CE](20020401) && [jdk1.3.1](03)/[jdk1.4](fcs)
It works for example for node :
Resolved for 3.4.x or earlier, no new info since then -> closing.