Gratuit - free for personal use - source code available

0.06 (2015/03/17)
Source available
(EUPL v1.1)

What is StrawHelp?

Many years ago, before the world knew of HTML, a help system was devised for RISC OS, written by Guttorm Vik, the author of StrongEd.
StrongEd and Zap provide facilities that most Windows users can only dream of - I've still not found a free Zap-alike... suggestions?
This help system was a revolution that blew away the existing lacklustre system of popup help (not unlike tooltips in use). This help system - called StrongHelp operated in a point-and-click way, using a system visually similar to, but fairly distinct from, HTML.

Implemented as an image filing system, each StrongHelp file is perhaps best thought of as cross between a variable-sized virtual disc partition and a zip file with a directory structure.

Windows users have been able to directly access the contents of Zip files in a folder since Windows XP, however this isn't complete access - the menus offer options to extract or open (via Temp) the selected file... RISC OS image filing systems allow 'files' to become true extensions of the filer which appear as if you are looking at any other file. The software SparkFS allows complete read/write access to a range of archives including Zip, while another application of image filing systems is DOSFS which allows one to read/write DOS format floppy discs, USB memory devices, and even files defined as DOS harddisc partitions. A version exists for Linux extfs partitions, ISO-compliant CD-ROMs, etc etc.

Here is an example of StrongHelp in action on a RISC OS machine:

GIF animation


StrawHelp, the software available from this site, provides the beginnings of an implementation of this system which works under Windows. Now, there may be remarkably little call for documentation of RISC OS SWIs within the Windows environment, but if you would like it, here it is! ☺ What might be of more use is David Pilling's OvationPro has a script language, details of which are available as a StrongHelp file... which can be viewed using my StrawHelp...

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Copyright © 2015 Rick Murray