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How to access the FreeDOS help?

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Creating a new thread for clarity. JOJO asked this in another (unrelated) thread:
> I have an other question : how to access the freedos help ? help refers me to a few words about svardos.
You can't, sorry. Unless of course you manually fetch the FD-HELP thing from ibiblio or wherever it is distributed. The SvarDOS help definitely needs some work. For now it contains only a few specific things that are strictly specific to SvarDOS. It would be nice to have it extended a little bit with more generic content. But I would also like to keep it as small and compact as possible. For instance I do not think that it is useful to have a "man page" for every single command. Commands should be self-explanatory throughout their /? help screens. Currently the FreeDOS help package is huge: 2 MiB. This is more than the entire SvarDOS system! Insane. I think that a minimum would be to have a new page in the help that gives the lists of commands, with a short (one line or two max) general description for each command. Then, more information is always available under the command's /? help screen. This would actually mimic the help system from MS-DOS 5: there, help.exe is a tiny 11K binary that only lists available commands: https://images92.fotosik.pl/681/9baa7944e68d737f.png The help system does not have any more details about the commands. Executing for example "help fdisk" makes help.exe simply run "FDISK /?". That being said, it might also be nice to have the FreeDOS help system available as a third-party pkgnet package (that is, non-CORE) for people that absolutely want the FreeDOS manual. Mateusz
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This subject came back last month as a github issue so I'm leaving a follow-up link here for posterity: https://github.com/SvarDOS/bugz/issues/51
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there are several aspects about help: Many new users that only learned tapping on a screen have no idea about basic handling dos, e.g. how to create folder structure, how to navigate thru, which files can be executed and which not, what do I need sys files for, what are batch files used for etc. without this a newbie cannot start. I tried to do this with newbies01 and 02 at fd help. but I am realistic enough that this can be made shorter than in fd help. explanation of /? and -h should also be a part of it. A short introduction is a must in my eyes. your short explanation in one or two lines is not bad in my eyes. it is also possible to lead help command to command /? or -h. but your help should know if /? or -h or --help is required and give a short comment if there is no help. Otherwise your users are confused. but the most important thing are examples so that people understand the syntax. I often needed a long time on special commands to understand the syntax. you can write the command /? as often as you want, but many people only understand things when they see a usable example. and you know that 5 hours of testing can easily replace reading a manual within 5 minutes. all this makes the help bigger, but if you work with zip etc. it could nevertheless stay small. hyperlinks to other commands need a lot of space and are helpful, butnot absolutely necessary. I am aware that an explanation of basic things and examples for commands make the help bigger, but alltogether they are smaller than fd help. if you can combine /? with the examples and | more you would have everything inside.
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Hello Fritz, thanks for stopping by on this forum :-) To sum up, you are saying that: 1. Newbies need some basic introduction to DOS 2. Some commands would benefit from having a few examples I looked at your home page on mnet-online, but could not find the "newbies01 / newbies02" content that you mentioned. Could you please share a link? While I do not believe that adding a full-blown DOS manual to SvarDOS would be productive, I think that some kind of hands-on introduction that fits on a screen or two could be very nice (maybe with a link to some more detailed online resources about DOS). I am curious to see what you came up with. About the examples: you are certainly right that an example can save a lot of time sometimes. Do you have any specific command in mind, any suggestions? Mateusz
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https://home.mnet-online.de/willybilly/HTMLhelp-110/en/index.htm It is only in version 1.1.0. This help is too big for svardos, I know. In about 360 commands are not really necessary. Almost all have examples, except the utils section as it leads too far. I tried to add usable examples, even these may sometimes be to long for you, but if you remove the text from the single fd help files all this is much smaller. PS: hope you got my final Excel sheet with fd and svardos hyperlinks Fritz

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