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Using assistant from PyQt

The uRSSus doc is slow­ly grow­ing, so I hooked as­sis­tant to the UI. Not dif­fi­cult, but I have not seen it else­where.

Here's how:

As­sume the "Hand­book ac­tion" is called ac­tion_Hand­book. Set win­­sis­tant to None in __init__.

def on_action_Handbook_triggered(self, i=None):
    if i==None: return

    if not self.assistant or \
       not self.assistant.poll()==None:

        cmd="assistant -enableRemoteControl -collectionFile %s"%helpcoll
    self.assistant.stdin.write("SetSource qthelp://urssus/doc/handbook.html\n")

And that's it. Now I ned to fig­ure out con­text help.

Rawdog is flexible: using Mako templates

I am us­ing raw­dog for Plan­e­ta PyAr and I am very hap­py with it. One thing I re­al­ly did­n't like was the tem­plat­ing.

Why? It's ba­si­cal­ly un­doc­u­ment­ed, it looks ug­ly and it does­n't sup­port tem­plate in­her­i­tance, which in this case is very use­ful, be­cause I am ac­tu­al­ly do­ing two very sim­i­lar plan­et­s: 1 2.

So, since I saw a plug­in to use Vel­lum tem­plates, which means the tem­plat­ing is plug­gable, why not use my favourite tem­plat­ing li­brary (Mako) in­stead?

It turns out to be very easy to do!

Just put this in your plug­ins fold­er and start us­ing Mako tem­plates (yes, the plan­et's con­fig and stuff is in github. Why not?).

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import rawdoglib.plugins

from mako.template import Template
from mako.lookup import TemplateLookup
from mako import exceptions

class MakoPlugin:
    def __init__(self):
        self.lookup = TemplateLookup(directories=['.'],\

    def fill_template(self,template, bits, result):
        return False

p = MakoPlugin()

Yup, 20 lines of code!

rst2qhc 0.2: the insomnia release

To­day I woke up at 6AM. I had noth­ing to do un­til 9, but I woke up and could­n't sleep again.

So, what can I do? I hacked rst2qhc a bit more :-D

Since this is a small pro­jec­t, it is quick­ly ap­proach­ing fea­ture com­plete sta­tus (there is re­al­ly on­ly so much this thing can do).

So, what's new?

  • Pass­ing op­­tions to rst2ht­m­l, so you can do things like set stylesheet­s.

  • Sup­­port for a man­i­fest file, so you can list what files should be em­bed­d­ed in the help­­file.

  • Fixed project sup­­port. Now you can op­­tion­al­­ly ask rst2qhc to cre­ate a qhcp file that will build your doc­u­­men­t.

  • Bet­ter, more com­­plete ex­am­­ple that dis­­­plays most fea­­tures.

I have on­ly one thing left in my TODO, which is call­ing the HTML writ­er via API in­stead of via sys­tem() be­cause that way there is no need to de­fine the key­word role in the doc­u­men­t, and I can add syn­tax high­light­ing via pyg­ments.

Since I now do have work to do, I will just re­lease 0.2 now ;-)

You can get it from the usu­al place: http://rst2qhc.­google­code.­com

And here's a sam­ple of the in­put/out­put:


Now you, too can create Qt Help Files painlessly

I de­cid­ed to add a man­u­al for uRSSus. Since it's a Qt ap­p, I checked how to do one of those neat help files, like the ones that come with Qt app­s.

It turns out it's not so sim­ple to cre­ate one of those.

You need to cre­ate your help in one or more HTML files, then cre­ate a XML file that de­scribes what each file is, ref­er­ences for each sec­tion, and ref­er­ences for each key­word you want in the in­dex.

For any re­al-life-­size doc­u­men­t, that's go­ing to be in­cred­i­bly an­noy­ing.

So, I took my usu­al es­cape route when I don't want to do grunt work on doc­s: Do­cu­tils.

Specif­i­cal­ly, I wrote rst2qhc which takes one (or more) re­struc­tured text files, and cre­ates a nice and clean Qt Help Project file from them, in­clud­ing sec­tion ti­tles, ref­er­ences and key­word­s, which you mark on the text us­ing the 'key­word' role.

What does this mean? Let me be graph­i­cal:


The one on the right is nice to read. The one on the left is nice to write. The ar­row in the mid­dle is rst2qhc :-)

And here's how the gen­er­at­ed qhp file looks for a triv­ial out­line of a man­u­al (and the rea­son why I don't want to do this man­u­al­ly ;-):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<QtHelpProject version="1.0">
    <customFilter name="Unknown">
            <section title="The uRSSus Handbook" ref="manual.html">
                <section title="Introduction" ref="manual.html#introduction"/>
                <section title="Quick Start" ref="manual.html#quick-start"/>
                <section title="Configuration" ref="manual.html#configuration"/>
                <section title="Credits and License" ref="manual.html#credits-and-license"/>
                <keyword name="what can you" ref="manual.html#what-can-you-do-using-urssus"/>
                <keyword name="quick" ref="manual.html#quick-start"/>
                <keyword name="main window" ref="manual.html#the-main-window"/>

Al­so, as a bonus, you can cre­ate PDF, La­TeX, HTML and ODT files from the same source (heck, you can cre­ate freak­ing man pages).

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