Android Tutorial B4A-HelpViewer - View and search the documentation offline

This tool is no longer available. Please use the online search instead.

I'm happy to release the second version of B4A HelpViewer.
This utility allows you to browse and search the documentation and the forum posts from the desktop.

It automatically checks for updated libraries and forum posts during start-up. The libraries manuals are downloaded and stored locally.

The search functionality is built using Lucene.

b4ahelpviewer_1.png




For now there is no installation step. You should unzip the file and run B4A-HelpViewer.
Note that it should not be located under Program Files as it needs "write permissions".

Your comments are more than welcomed.
 
Last edited:

JogiDroid

Member
Licensed User
Much better than using just web help page!

Would it be possible to link relevant functions and not just link to main object

for example search of "StartPreview" gives "camera link" and some text that contains search term.. but link to actual function named "StartPreview" is not "linked".
 

nfordbscndrd

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
I'm a noobie and still having trouble finding basic information. For example, I was trying to understand why some types of variables must be Initialized and others don't, so I searched for Initialize.

I got a lot of hits for Initialize, but they were all places where Initialize was being used, but not explained.

Liikewise when I searched for Sort. It brings up Collections (Core) - List and says:
Sort (Ascending As Boolean)
Sorts the list.
The items must all be numbers or strings.​

But it doesn't tell you the syntax, how to use it, etc. Now all this is probably obvious to experienced Android and/or B4A programmers, but I was trying things like MyList.Sort(Ascending As Boolean) [don't laugh] and all kinds of things with no success.

When I went further down the HelpViewer list, I was getting posts where people had said things like "This is the sort of data that I...".

It would be nice if more actual examples were given for how each command works.

What I would *really* like to see is a list of Visual Basic functions with the equivalent function in B4A shown a long with a sample usage, such as:

Instr(txt$, "boo") -- txt$.IndexOf("boo")
txt = Trim$(t_Word) -- txt = t_Word.Text.Trim
 

nfordbscndrd

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Let me walk through what I'm experiencing trying to find documentation on a subject, which in this case is whether variables passed to subs can be modified by the sub or if they are passed ByValue (as we say in VB):

1. Enter "Sub" in HelpViewer. Nothing comes up about calling Subs.
2. Enter "ByValue" -- nothing.
3. Bring up the Documentation web page. Don't see anything that looks like it is about Subs. Try "Android Processes", but no.
4. Look through the Types list on the Doc/Tutorial page, but nothing.
5. Go back to HelpViewer and search for Core to see what's listed, but nothing that looks like it contains Subs.
6. Look at Keywords and click on Return, since that is for use in Subs. No links to more info about Subs.
7. Go to the forums and search for "passing variables to subs". It responds:
"The search term you specified (to) is under the minimum word length (3) and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer. " Uh, I entered 4 words, not "under 3".
8. Enter "sub variables" and get some hits. (What happened to the "minimum word length"?) Nothing on subject, but see some subs passing variabes "AsBoolean", so...
9. Go back to HelpViewer and search for AsBoolean. No direct hits.
10. Enter "keywords". Click on "Core - Keywords". No "AsBoolean".

That's it. I don't know what to do next. I'm pretty sure I've seen something somewhere about passing variables to subs, but I can't find anything now.

This is not a problem unique to Subs (and AsBoolean), that just happens to be what I'm looking for at the moment.

Erel -- I read a post from you somewhere about a programming language needing a large user base. Not to rag on you, but I can't see that happening when it is so hard to get basic information. Can you tell me where and how to find the info I need?

I would be happy to volunteer to work on creating a proper documentation file; unfortunately, I don't know how to find the info to put in it.
 

etLux

Member
Licensed User
Due to the weather in the Northeast, I've been
running far behind; and have only just now gotten
to download and install this.

Thank you so much for this most useful tool!

All my best,



David
-----
David Sosnowski
The Music of David Sosnowski
 

hackhack

Active Member
Licensed User
How about a manual update feature instead of automatic?

And a way to set font size from very small to large
 

rbsoft

Active Member
Licensed User
Excellent tool. Just wish it would remember position and size!
 

mjtaryan

Active Member
Licensed User
Hey, this is very nice and useful. However, I think many would find it very useful if someone / some group would put together a truly comprehensive "Basic4Android Complete Concepts and Reference Manual" in both hardcop and ereader (Kindle?) forms. What I'm hinking of is something that goes from rank novice to full fleged pro and which provides a full and complete definiton and description of the language includig an categorical grouping of classes, types, functions, etc. with their descrptions and attributes. Obviously this would include both provided and optional libraries (or as a separate volume). I know, its a lot of work, but a team approach might work well. Just a thought (and a very strong wish).
 

macnlkc

Member
Licensed User
Can't run it...

I copied to a folder, unzipped and ran the viewer. I simply get the error message, " This program cannot display the webpage." Any ideas? It does go through the crawling process and then states that 0 documents were updated. However, I do show a number of new items in the list. When I click on them is when I get the error.
 

macnlkc

Member
Licensed User
I put it in a \Dev folder under my \B4A folder right off of the root of C:. Still can't get it to run. The folder is set to read/write... Any thoughts?
 

macnlkc

Member
Licensed User
I am not using a proxy. However, I did notice a couple of interesting things.

1) If I enter a search I do get a listing back.
2) The only items that I can click on and obtain information are the ones that have folder icons next to them. All the ones marked with the B4A icon give me the "This program cannot display the webpage" error page. Those listed in the right panel that is. All items in the left hand indexed panel give me the cannot display webpage error.

So I have to assume that it is the local indexed items that I cannot display. Any ideas?
 

macnlkc

Member
Licensed User
Actually it was two issues.

1) You cannot have a directory that has any spaces in it.
2) You must run it as administrator. (Had the issue on Vista and Windows 7 systems)

Thanks for the help!
 

Vader

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Hey, this is very nice and useful. However, I think many would find it very useful if someone / some group would put together a truly comprehensive "Basic4Android Complete Concepts and Reference Manual" in both hardcop and ereader (Kindle?) forms. What I'm hinking of is something that goes from rank novice to full fleged pro and which provides a full and complete definiton and description of the language includig an categorical grouping of classes, types, functions, etc. with their descrptions and attributes. Obviously this would include both provided and optional libraries (or as a separate volume). I know, its a lot of work, but a team approach might work well. Just a thought (and a very strong wish).

I'm a noobie and still having trouble finding basic information. For example, I was trying to understand why some types of variables must be Initialized and others don't, so I searched for Initialize.

I got a lot of hits for Initialize, but they were all places where Initialize was being used, but not explained.

Liikewise when I searched for Sort. It brings up Collections (Core) - List and says:
Sort (Ascending As Boolean)
Sorts the list.
The items must all be numbers or strings.​

But it doesn't tell you the syntax, how to use it, etc. Now all this is probably obvious to experienced Android and/or B4A programmers, but I was trying things like MyList.Sort(Ascending As Boolean) [don't laugh] and all kinds of things with no success.

When I went further down the HelpViewer list, I was getting posts where people had said things like "This is the sort of data that I...".

It would be nice if more actual examples were given for how each command works.

What I would *really* like to see is a list of Visual Basic functions with the equivalent function in B4A shown a long with a sample usage, such as:

Instr(txt$, "boo") -- txt$.IndexOf("boo")
txt = Trim$(t_Word) -- txt = t_Word.Text.Trim

I am working on these (bold) items. Another member is assisting me in some areas, but it is still a big job.
 
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