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Semagic support? [Mar. 4th, 2007|06:51 pm]
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[angrykeyboarder]
[Current Location |85013]
[mood |aggravatedaggravated]

I can't seem to find any.

Their "community" (ljwin32_sema) is in fact, more like thier blog. It's just a place for the developer(s) to share stuff (and they've not even done that since last August).

They're still using the (very outdated) .hlp file format for Help files and Vista doesn't support it.

I've tried the forums on their website, but it looks like that's strictly peer to peer support.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fallen_x_ashes
2007-03-04 11:01 pm (UTC)
So? Install Winhlp32 on Vista.

Better yet, uninstall Vista and "upgrade" to Windows XP. No one should be using that OS until the first Service Pack comes out.
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[User Picture]From: angrykeyboarder
2007-03-05 09:04 pm (UTC)

I'm really sick of this "backward compatible" crap. That's been one of Windows biggest problems for years.  Microsoft feels they have to include all this ancient code for that very reason. The result? A an OS that’s less stable than it should be. 

In that regard, Vista is a big step forward.

But they could have gone even farther.  For crying out loud, when Apple introduced OS X, it immediately rendered all pre-OS X apps obsolete and unusable. The only way to run them was in “classic” mode (emulation).  It pretty much forced Mac users to upgrade their applications if they wanted any decent performance out of them.. 

They bitched about it, but the end result was a much more stable OS than XP was at the time (or has ever been).

It gets to a point where it's time to move on.

For crying out loud, a guy in the Vista newsgroup recently asked about compatibility with a DOS app (!).  

Give me a friggin break.  If you want to use your old/ancient apps, then stick with an old/ancient OS. 

Oh and regarding your question as to what Vista has over XP? Plenty. If it didn't, you'd not be reading this now. 

I see that statement so often and I wonder why. Vista and it's new features have been covered extensively in the press for the past two years. 

And the last time a guy asked that question, I sent him to the best possible (and logical) place to get his answer. 

Why he didn't think of that to begin with is beyond me.

As far as my frustration goes, the fact remains that .hlp files date back to Windows 3.1(!). The vast majority of help files in Windows apps (dating back to at least Windows 2000) are in the .chm format. And in some cases, newer XML format.

And it shows. When I viewed any .hlp files in XP they looked like crap ( "out of place" if you will.)/

I can't believe that any developer writing Windows software in the past 5 years is still relying on them.

As far as Semagic alternatives go, there are only two three that I'm aware of. In fact, I've not found any Windows client that's anywhere near as good or as well maintained (save for the .hlp situation) as Semagic. The other two LJ mentions haven't been updated in several years.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just go back to Nvu+copy and paste.




This post was Document made with Nvu.





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[User Picture]From: naruki_oni
2007-03-21 10:58 pm (UTC)

About the help file thing...

I like hitting the ESCAPE key to clear my help off the screen when I'm done with it.

Just can't seem to get that to work anymore with these newer formats.
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[User Picture]From: angrykeyboarder
2007-03-05 08:15 pm (UTC)
No thanks. I've been running Vista since I downloaded and installed Beta 2 last May. I then followed up with RC1 and RC2).

I knew what I was getting into and I wanted it.

You're entitled to your opinion and you make a valid point, but since I knew what I was getting into already (and obviously I felt I was "ready" for Vista), I went for it.

I have no regrets. I love it.
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[User Picture]From: charles
2007-03-05 10:26 am (UTC)
What kind of support are you expecting? Forum-based support is pretty much the standard for Free Software.

(Speaking of Free Software... you could convert the .hlp files to whatever Vista supports, and either submit a patch, or maintain and distribute your own Vista-friendly version of the software.)
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[User Picture]From: angrykeyboarder
2007-03-05 09:35 pm (UTC)
"What kind of support are you expecting? Forum-based support is pretty much the standard for Free Software."

I'm aware of this (actually it tends more toward mailing lists than anything).

What kind of support?  The kind the developer(s) mention on the website. Their Journal here is in fact not what they make it out to be.

I looked at bug reports on their Sourceforge site and they all seem to be crash dumps (save for the report I filed today).

The forums had a lot of posts (questions) with no replies or the questions were answered by peers.

Semagic is the best of the clients LJ mentions when it comes to support (i.e. updates) but any other kind of support sucks.

"(Speaking of Free Software... you could convert the .hlp files to whatever Vista supports, and either submit a patch, or maintain and distribute your own Vista-friendly version of the software.)."

I'm always amused at that kind of response.

Do I sound like a developer?

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[User Picture]From: shmuelisms
2007-03-12 09:31 am (UTC)

the Crash Dumps "bug reports"

are actually a feature of one of the more recent Semagic versions. They get submitted semi-automatically IF the program detects a crash. This is a Good Thing.


As I don't do development for Windows, I can't help you with regard to the HLP file situation. Sorry.
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