Help is not bundled with Rhino for Mac

Continuing the discussion from Mark's Odds and Ends Bug List:

At the moment, we do not have a plan to bundle Rhino for Mac’s help for use offline. There’s nothing preventing you from downloading/scraping whatever you need:

Now, lemme turn my attention to the Command Help window…which also gets its content from the web:

If the Command Help is not visible, Rhino for Mac should NOT “phone home.” If it is, we need to look into that.

I’m going to go take a look and see what is happening with regard to caching web content for Command Help…but me looking at the code is never a good substitute for in-field testing (as we both know from experience). If you think that Rhino for Mac is not caching help content efficiently - hence burning through your data plan - then I can look into that more.

Casting a VERY big vote for users to be able to reference all Help files will using MacRhino without a web connection.

The core information in Help files doesn’t change that often and is invaluable if needed. If one does not have a web connection you’re hosed.

To solve the problem of “keeping current”, Ideally, one could be prompted to update a resident Help file (on the computer) if there are significant online updates, or after a specified period of time without updates. ~Dave

how big (filesize) would it be?

just curious

We shipped help for Rhino 5 which resulted in 13mb of content for each language + 64mb of non-localized images and videos. If we shipped all 11 languages, that would result in
13*11 + 64 = 207mb
This was V5 for Windows; I’m sure the Mac numbers would be similar.

if it were a democracy scenario, i’d vote no
: )

(as in- me personally, i never use help anymore but i download the dmg often)

Agree here. I think help should be downloadable optionally.

I don’t personally care HOW it’s implemented, provided there’s a way of not being dependent upon a data link just to have access to command and normal help. I don’t mind having to download something once (and perhaps periodically thereafter) but having to download it every time it’s accessed is a deal breaker.

Not having access to command help because there’s no net connection is not acceptable for a product with no printed manual. I don’t mind not having a manual but I DO mind not having access to the docs. We don’t all live in nice metropolitan areas where web access is cheap.

We aren’t all Jeff’s who have the entire command set memorized. Some of us are NEW users who don’t know all this stuff and DONT have years of experience with Rhino under our belts and as a result WILL be frequently referring to the documentation.

Optional downloads are fine, provided there’s an easy mechanism to transplant the download. In my case I download the DMG’s at work, toss them on an external drive and bring them home that way.

If you live out in the boonies you pay through the nose for net access, often by the MB. Overage charges can be ludicrous and double or triple your bill without even breaking a sweat. Being as I do the majority of my Rhino work at home this is a key issue. If I had downloaded the images here for every WIP over the last couple months at home I could have easily paid for a license just in the costs of the overages. It’s such a crucial issue for me that I have Little Snitch installed and manually ok all outgoing access, and have rules set up to allow outbound access for the sites I visit often that don’t go off site for crap like ad content and whatnot (I.E. this one).

Adobe lost a life long customer (I was a beta tester for After Effects 1.0) when it forced the CS in the cloud down our throats. The cloud versions burn through web bandwidth like it was water which makes the apps utterly useless to me. It would more than likely cost me $300-400 a month in bandwidth surcharges just to use those apps at home due to the amount of bandwidth they use for who knows what under the hood.

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how much help do you need to look at? maybe 10 things an hour?

you’ll use more bandwidth during a typical browse&post at this forum.

(oh… and hey… i learned most of the stuff i’ve learned about rhino prior to ‘help’ even being in mac rhino… via windows online help :wink: )

How much work would it be to convert each language Help into a PDF? Few people would download more than one language. The current PDF user’s guide is only about 13mb, I guess the help file would be somewhat larger than that, but still a manageable download (especially without videos).


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Even just a zip of the parent directory for the HTML site would be fine, and way less work than converting to PDF. It’d be simple to do (just zip the directory for each language) and let us download them, and we wouldn’t have to go through trying to scrape the whole site. The process of zipping them up and putting them someplace we could download them could even be automated without much work. When you update the online help, run the script after the update which would update the language specific zip downloads. Once the zip was downloaded and extracted we as users would open the main page and that should work provided the HTML was relative path based, all the links should work.

Still would like to have a similar option for the command help, even if it was a separate download.


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I, like Mark, am seeking alternatives to Adobe and I’ve been a Creative Suite owner (multiple licenses, multiple versions) for two decades.

Not only is their online help horrible to navigate, slow to use, and data intensive, I’m 100% allergic to subscriptions for software.

Safe bet: do the opposite of Adobe in virtually all situations and keep customers happy. ~Dave

True that. Dunno what’s happened to Adobe in recent years but they have REALLY lost their way. The running joke at the office when we come in is, “morning. Have you had your Adobe Flash Update of the day yet?”

Ok, I’ve got this on the list (MR-2166). In my mind, this is a less-than-ideal solution, but it might work. We need to figure out a couple of things internally before I can take any action.