Download rhinocommon documentation

It would be useful to have a downloadable version (offline) for https://developer.rhino3d.com/api/rhinocommon
Did anyone extract the data yet and can share it so I can save myself some scripting

@mkarimi - Is this something you can help with?

That website uses javascript to show the content. And some of the content is lazy loaded for performance.
So saving the html won’t work.
I remember @eirannejad was looking into adding this documentation to the code editor. Ehsan would that work offline?

Nope :smiley: The script editor currently pulls the documentation from the web and does a bit of cleanup on the xml to remove the unnecessary stuff and make it cleaner for inside the editor.

We might be able to package the site into a stand alone electron app, or better yet someone from the community could do this. We user quasar for building our RhinoCommon site and I believe quasar supports compilation to an electron app.

Here’s our site where we build RhinoCommon api docs.

One use-case I have been thinking of is having the content as a text file (XML, JSON, whatever) and using that as the data for a custom GPT in ChatGPT. That way we could have a GPT that would know everything about RhinoCommon and mitigate possible hallucinations. I find value in that. At the moment the browsing features of ChatGPT or Copilot cannot browse the site to its full extent.

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The source of that website is one big JSON file. You can find it using chrome devtools.
Or I can send you the link when I get back to my keyboard

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Please send more info or a link to where the JSON might be found. I have looked at the insides of the site using Chrome DevTools, but I feel like a chimpanzee trying to repair a hadron collider.

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Sorry I forgot. Here it is:
https://developer.rhino3d.com/api/rhinocommon/api_info.json

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Thanks!

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Hi guys @mkarimi @stevebaer @dale,
I am writing again to express my concerns regarding the current state of Rhino’s technical documentation. Your current replies are more of hack ins rather than an actual solution. As a professional user, I strongly believe that having access to offline documentation is essential for a smooth and efficient workflow. The current online-only solution, while helpful in some cases, does not adequately address the needs of all users.

I understand that providing offline documentation may require additional resources and effort. However, given the size and reputation of McNeel, I believe it is reasonable to expect a comprehensive offline documentation solution. Many other CAD and modeling software packages, including those developed by smaller companies, provide offline documentation as a standard feature. The absence of this feature in Rhino is surprising and can be frustrating for users who require access to documentation in various work environments.

I kindly request that you consider prioritizing the development of a complete offline technical documentation solution. A confirmation that this issue is being actively addressed would be greatly appreciated. It would demonstrate McNeel’s commitment to providing the best possible user experience and support for its customers.

I have the utmost respect for the work you do and the software you develop. I am confident that by addressing this issue, you will further enhance Rhino’s position as a leading CAD and modeling software.

Our team’s dedication is the backbone of our company, and each developer plays a pivotal role in our success. However, I’ve realized that our current online-only documentation system might put us at a disadvantage if we encounter internet issues. *The thought of 10-20 of our developers being unable to access the information they need is worrying, not just because of the potential downtim but also because of the potential economic loss which would could cost anywhere from 1k$ to 10k$ depending on the length of the internet outage.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your response and to seeing the implementation of an offline documentation solution in the near future.

Best regards,
Carletto

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Hi Carlo,

Thank you for bringing it up, I understand the need for it.
Before I go down the rabbit hole, What’s the ideal format that you’d like this offline documentation to be? PDF, HTML or something else?

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I think we should experiment with compiling our site as an electron app. This would keep things consistent with the wen site

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Hi @mkarimi, chm as it has been in the past:

@stevebaer, i’ve asked for this multiple times with no reply. What is the last version of the chm which has been generated ?
_
c.

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This looks pretty easy. I can compile one and make sure it runs offline

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Try downloading this electron app built from the RhinoCommon docs.
https://github.com/mcneel/docify/raw/mkarimi/electron/electron/rhinocommon_api.zip?download=

If this works I can make sure it gets integrated into our build process and add a link to download it from the website.

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Hey @mkarimi ,

I’ve been thinking about the documentation format, and I had a lightbulb moment. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could have a standard PDF format that users can easily export, import, and tweak to their heart’s content?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, the electron app format is a nifty quick fix, but imagine if we could provide actual text that users can copy, paste, store, export, and modify. A standard PDF documentation would be the bee’s knees, and I really hope I’m not being a pain in the neck by suggesting this.

#1 : PDF is a universal solution that no one would question. Most widely used standard
#2 : CHM is a bit worse but definitely fine. Widely used, a bit antiquate but fine
#3 : Electron App is quick and effective, but definitely not widely popular nor will be a global solution for the entire community.

Everyone has different needs and there are some standards people are accostumed to. I believe PDF would be a one for all solution that everyone can tweak and export according to their team needs. Its most definitely the easiest convertible and usable document file possible, no one could possibly find it unreasonable.
CHM is the same, but a bit old and limited and harder export features than PDF. PDF can be exported to anything.
That’s my reasoning at least !

I know that every other solution might work for some folks, but not for others. That’s why I believe that PDF is the way to go, followed by CHM and then the electron app format. I hope you can see where I’m coming from.

Anyway, I just wanted to express my appreciation for all the hard work you’ve put into this. You’re a real gem, Karimi! I hope I did not bother you too much with this.

With great appreciation,
Carletto

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This is not as quick and easy as I had thought, we’ll need to build for multiple platforms and code sign.
:grimacing:

We can try to generate chm files again. There is a lot of content that is lost from what is displayed in the website and it will only work on Windows, but it is probably good enough.

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This would be great. I like the old chm because it displays the information in a very compact way and is quite small in size (15Mb). It provides links to the MS site for many types which the new RhinoCommon docs do not. As long as it is updated with the new methods added after 2021 i’m happy.

Since the RhinoScript offline help doc is in chm too, i got used to that layout for over 2 decades. The same layout was used in the old RhinoCommon doc, it is still used in the GH and the Eto online help.

I cannot say anyting about electron, downloaded the 250Mb from above but no idea what to do with it. It’s a zip and inside is a file with .app extension. If i double click it, i see a folder structure but nothing to start. Imho any helpdoc should be self-explanatory without the need to make additional installs or downloads. Again, i have no idea how it is supposed to look or what i’m missing.

_
c.

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