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Integrated help of CHDK on the camera

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Offline ultimA

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Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« on: 28 / October / 2010, 21:59:50 »
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Offline an0n

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #1 on: 29 / October / 2010, 22:43:30 »
ultimA,

I suppose I should say something here. I am surprised if you are not aware of these >  http://drop.io/CHDK_Quick_Start_User_Guide_
and http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/File:CHDK_UserGuide_April_2009_A4.pdf




And for text instructions for in camera, ALTMENGD, from dlw. > http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php/topic,1214.msg28449.html#msg28449     

(BTW - DropIO will be closing by DEC 15, see > http://blog.drop.io/2010/10/29/an-important-update-on-the-future-of-drop-io/)
A720IS.

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Offline ultimA

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #2 on: 30 / October / 2010, 00:33:32 »
I am aware of the Quick Start and User Guide documents. Those are what I meant in my opening post too. Of course you can print them out, but having something in-camera is a lot more comfortable. You can print out any document, so obviously that wasn't my point. Even if you print a booklet of it, you still need to carry it around and occupies your hand when using it, not to mention that you are just flipping pages a lot of time to get to the topic you are interested in. Isn't it much more better to just highlight the menu option you are unsure about and say "I want help on this" on the camera?

However, I was unaware of ALTMENGD by dlw. It's nice being able to read those text files on the camera, and I think it shows my point and means others too have thought it would be a useful feature. However, in my oppinion, it is still inferior to my patch. Because using dlw's help, you loose the comformity of instant help, so you would have to, each time when help is needed, go to the text reader, browse for the file (remembering the path to your item in the menu hierarchy), and then scroll down to the part that you need. In fact, I even think a booklet is better than ALTMENGD, because searching in a printed document would be much faster (the amount of text that can be shown on the screen is not much, which means a lot of scrolling with ALTMENGD). Not to mention that after reading you have to navigate yourself back to the menu item, and if there is a new item you want read about, you have to go through whole process above again.

So I do still think my solution is the best of all. You can think of it as a kind of improved dlw's ALTMENGD, with the comformity of (1) not having to leave the menu (2) automatically opening the correct text file and (3) automatically jumping and scrolling to the right section and only displaying that part. It simply works much faster than any other alternative and is more intuitive. It provides true instant help.

I do not consider my patch as a replacement for the pdf/printed guides, but rather as something that complements it when you need quick information and have no need for illustrations.

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Offline an0n

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #3 on: 30 / October / 2010, 05:26:20 »
Hello ultimA,

I definitely was not trying to argue against your onboard help implementation, I actually like the idea and have often thought
the same way. It would be very cool to have onboard, I find that I do refer to the dlw text items sometimes. Just that the way I
interpreted the wording of your motivation paragraph made me think you might not have been aware of the manual.
My own thoughts are that I usually have my camera bag with me so the manual is available to quickly refer to, and that I
personally find it difficult to read the LCD screen on most days out in the field. After saying this, I could still use an instant
help system like you are implementing, and thank you for this and other CHDK development.
To continue building, you (or someone) could possibly use dlw's ALTMENGD work as the basis for the text.
A720IS.


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Offline reyalp

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #4 on: 30 / October / 2010, 20:45:44 »
Interesting idea. Some thoughts
- Without some people willing to write the help items and keep them up to date, usefulness is limited.
- having documentation for the same functionality in different places makes it harder to keep up to date.
- buttons are scarce. Really, the button handling in CHDK needs to be updated but this is a big project. You could use a long press or something.
- Canon doesn't have in camera help for their UI (some newer cameras have tooltip-ish things maybe ?).
- <1k to build size is small enough that it's worth considering.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

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Offline fudgey

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #5 on: 31 / October / 2010, 07:07:17 »
This would definitely be helpful at least for those features and options that are impossible to properly describe in two words (for example many of the extra photo operations menu items). Well worth the memory print, IMO. I'd like to see this extended to scripts too -- a separate help file distributed with the script with a general description longer than script name and help text for each @param could be quite useful.

An option to a help button would be an automatic help screen after a delay of inactivity. Some will find that annoying, meaning there would obviously need to be an option to disable it and to configure the delay.

Is there a reason to create another new directory under CHDK for help files? Wouldn't the LANG direcoty be fine for these too? Just need to use another extension like .hlp instead of .lng?

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Offline ultimA

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #6 on: 31 / October / 2010, 15:48:44 »
Quote
- buttons are scarce. Really, the button handling in CHDK needs to be updated but this is a big project. You could use a long press or something.
If there is no separate button I can use, I think a long press is the next best option. I'd still like to avoid it if possible, because differentiating between short and long presses sucks from a usability point of view.

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- Canon doesn't have in camera help for their UI (some newer cameras have tooltip-ish things maybe ?).
My camera (SX20), for example, has the tooltip-ish thingy. But the real difference is, the Canon GUI almost doesn't need a help. All you have to know that is challenging at first is which button you have to press to get to the right options. But once you are there things are mostly self-explanatory. Whitebalance? Bracketing? Continouos AF? AF-assist Beam? I'd guess the average CHDK user would know what these mean already. There are only a very small number of Canon-options (at least on my Camera) that need further explanation (i-Contrast, Safety MF, "FlexiZone", etc.). Now, in contrast to that, CHDK has a whole bunch of menu options that are unintuitive and need explanation the first time you want to use them (Disable Overrides with separate "disabled" and "off" values? Come on...).

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- <1k to build size is small enough that it's worth considering.
Part of the reason it didn't grow too big is that I could reuse a lot of code for drawing. I refactored drawing the scrollbars into a separate routine with parameters, as well as introduce a parameter to gui_menu_draw_initial() to accept the menu title string. So drawing the help comes almost free. The code overhead for the feature comes mainly from the string/file parsing routines. Also, I couldn't find any functions in CHDK that would read in a whole line of text from a file, and I was surprised by that. If there was something for that already (is there?) I could probably make the help even smaller. I still have to investigate whether I can share code with the Text Reader.

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I'd like to see this extended to scripts too
I don't think I'll do that, to be honest. I completely lack the motivation for that at the moment. Mainly because I think, once you have the separate help files for the scripts, viewing them in the Text Reader is good enough for me. I somehow find the docs for the menu to be a different issue with other requirements.

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Is there a reason to create another new directory under CHDK for help files? Wouldn't the LANG direcoty be fine for these too? Just need to use another extension like .hlp instead of .lng?
I thought having a separate HELP folder makes things cleaner, but there is surely nothing technical standing in the way of your suggestion. If other developers too think the help files should go into the LANG directory, I have nothing against that and will change the code.


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Offline ultimA

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #7 on: 01 / November / 2010, 12:39:17 »
My suggestion would be a long press of the DISP. button to show the help.

For implementing a long press I have a problem: The buttons seem to fire when they are pressed instead of when they are clicked. Normally I would want something to happen when the button was pressed short, and a different something to happen (exclusive or) when it was a long press. But if the buttons fire when pressed instead of when they are released, then this doesn't work. So are we back to "button handling in CHDK needs to be updated" (reyalp) or any other ideas?

BTW, since in CHDK there are separate function for getting pressed keys and for getting clicked keys, and the menu reacts to presses although it uses a clicked key function, this signifies a bug in the keyboard code, IMHO.


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Offline ultimA

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #8 on: 01 / November / 2010, 13:33:40 »
Regarding button clicks and presses, here is an excerpt from kbd_is_key_clicked():

Code: [Select]
   return ((kbd_prev_state[keymap[i].grp] & keymap[i].canonkey) != 0) &&
   ((kbd_new_state[keymap[i].grp] & keymap[i].canonkey) == 0);

This looks good at first sight, but kbd_is_key_pressed() has ...

Code: [Select]
   return ((kbd_new_state[keymap[i].grp] & keymap[i].canonkey) == 0) ? 1:0;

... which means the buttons are low-active. I think, whoever has written the code for kbd_is_key_clicked() forgot that the buttons are low-active. Am I mistaken? Is this really a bug or intended behavior?

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Offline an0n

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Re: Integrated help of CHDK on the camera
« Reply #9 on: 02 / November / 2010, 00:42:54 »
It will be obvious I'm not developer, but can it be be done without a button, like a virtual button. ie: Before "Back" menu entry how about insert "Help" or "Info"  [?]

Like, Main Menu > OSD parameters > User Menu > Help,  or  Main Menu > Scripting parameters > Remote parameters > Info.

Help would consist of text pages with some basic info and a reference to pdf page no.

Not as precise as your patch but if possible to code it would do away with a need for button.
A720IS.

 

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