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Author Topic: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible  (Read 3456 times)

Codebyte

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[IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« on: April 27, 2010, 09:28:42 AM »
Project Name: FARRDevelopersBible
Project Codename: FARRDB

Project Description:
FARRDB will allow developers to enable FARR with an offline developers "bible" that contains descriptions of functions for each language. This allows FARR to quickly search the developers "bible" using a syntax like "fdb php explode". After typing this expression, FARR will search its dev. bible for php functions, find explode, and return a beautiful description of how to use the explode() function, its parameters, a few examples of explode()'s common usage, etc. (Note: explode() is just an example.) When a user types the expression and then hits enter after viewing its usage, FARR adds an example to the clipboard so we can paste it into place and modify as needed.

Reasoning:
I cannot begin to tell you how annoying it is to waste a browser tab to php.net or some other web source. This plugin would be ideal for developers of any age or experience as we all forget syntax every now and then, especially when switching languages on the go (javascript and php are very close.) I was looking for something like this on DC and found FARRWebMetaSearch. While FARRWebMetaSearch is a great idea, the purpose of this plugin is to use an offline version to eliminate the requirement of internet access. Syntax doesnt change, internet access does.

Parts:
This plugin is a HUGE project as it contains several parts: the FARR plugin that handles searching and reading the individual developer "bibles," the actual developer "bibles" themselves and the example usages for functions.

This plugin would be EXTREMELY popular in my honest opinion. It will add alot more functionality to FARR (as if FARR doesn't already have enough functionality - thanks mouser :))

Note: It's probably a good idea to let this post age into maturity before developing this plugin. The reason I am posting this idea and not coding it is due to the fact that I am extremely busy with my web development and side projects as it is, I wouldnt be able to take on another project for awhile.

Please post your ideas for this plugin so we can formulate, as a community, what would be the best way to approach the project, what features to add, and who would be up for coding it :)

Updates:
- [Change] Made FARRWebMetaSearch a link in 'Reasoning.'
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« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 10:03:33 AM by Codebyte »

phitsc

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 10:00:02 AM »
This plugin would be EXTREMELY popular in my honest opinion. It will add alot more functionality to FARR (as if FARR doesn't already have enough functionality - thanks mouser :))
Exactly what I thought about my own plugins :D

mouser

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 10:08:33 AM »
i was talking to ewemoa recently about an idea for searching chm files that he had, for the same purpose you are talking about, being able to search chm programming reference files, etc.

what i was thinking is that perhaps the most efficient way to do this is to let another program fully index the contents of chm files and interface farr to search them.. this may already be doable using the Farr WindowSearch plugin, or maybe by interfacing with another program that already indexes chm files.

so some questions are:
  • Is CHM a good/sufficient file format format for this need (i think it's pretty good; being able to use pdf would be nice too)
  • Does it make sense for this kind of tool to be based on new custom code for searching through these files, or would interfacing to an existing indexer (like Windows Desktop Search or Google Desktop Search, etc.) be better.
  • Is relying on a full desktop indexer like Windows Search too much of a drawback for people who don't like to have such things running because of the background cpu usage
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 10:19:49 AM by mouser »

Codebyte

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 10:20:43 AM »
great questions!

I think CHM/PDF support would be great for this plugin! It would def. add more flexibility to the plugin. However, adding too much flexibility might stray from the point of the plugin. I think that using an existing indexer might be too much extra fluff for stuff we don't really need, resulting in slower indexing and slower processing?. It might be easier on the developer though. opinions?
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« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 10:24:20 AM by Codebyte »

Codebyte

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 08:45:37 AM »
hrm, not quite as a popular thread as I assumed. only been a day though. anybody have any comments, questions, sarcasm :) lol
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ewemoa

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 09:09:24 AM »
I like the general idea though am much in the dark about good specific approaches.

To share some possibly related thoughts:

I've been building up an alias for local documentation.  It doesn't do much that's fancy for things that haven't been processed by CHM2Alias, but at least I can type "docs <something>" to get uniform quick access to a fair bit of documentation.  If we're talking only CHM, there's this tool, KeyHH which lets one:

Quote
Open an HTML Help window based on a keyword search

I was thinking of trying to hook this up to a plugin version of CHM2Alias.

Reasoning:
While FARRWebMetaSearch is a great idea, the purpose of this plugin is to use an offline version to eliminate the requirement of internet access.
Hmm...

http://www.donationc....msg194731#msg194731

:)

phitsc?

Also (as hinted at by mouser) I'm interested in seeing if anything useful can come about from:

http://www.donationc....msg203103#msg203103

I don't have Windows Search, but if I get another PC at some point, it's likely to run Windows 7 (or something later), and IIUC, Windows Search would be on there by default...so this approach may turn out to be personally interesting once the local OS situations evolves a bit.

phitsc

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2010, 06:53:20 AM »
Reasoning:
While FARRWebMetaSearch is a great idea, the purpose of this plugin is to use an offline version to eliminate the requirement of internet access.
Hmm...

http://www.donationc....msg194731#msg194731

:)

phitsc?
It's not forgotten. Actually, Perry and me (well, mostly Perry :-[) have been working on a specification for a much improved version of FARR WMS. Unfortunately, when Perry went on his Lenten Journey (note: when, not because) my motivation to work on the project has gone down considerably (for various reasons. well, if you want to know ;), the two main ones probably being that I'll be working for a different company soon (which gives much to be finished in the old one), and that apart from Perry, no one seemed to be particularly interest in the plugin. A third one just comes to mind: the new specification makes this plugin not only much more powerful, but also quite a bit more complex.). I'm sure I'm going to pick it up again though, if only for all the work Perry and I (well, mostly Perry) have put into it already.

To get back on topic: yes, I think FARR WMS with a local file in an appropriate format could well be up to the task intended by the original poster.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2010, 10:17:54 AM »
I'm sure I'm going to pick it up again though, if only for all the work Perry and I (well, mostly Perry) have put into it already.

[ Well I'm glad about that  ;) ]

WMS on a local file sounds like great fun...

ewemoa

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Re: [IDEA] FARR Plugin: FARRDevelopersBible
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2010, 11:00:23 AM »
Thanks for the response phitsc :)

I think FARR WMS with a local file in an appropriate format could well be up to the task intended by the original poster.

Sounds very nice!


P.S. Good luck in your company-transitioning.