Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Help is on the way...eventually.

So today I found myself needing to convert some plots from HPGL to something more useful, like PNG, for inclusion in a report. I turned to an old utility that I've used a bunch in the past, HP2XX, to do the conversion. Having long since lost the batch file that I used to insulate myself from its arcane argument structure, I set about learning the arguments over again. Trying to find the help file (see screen cap) caused me to think of the following:

I think the Open Source movement needs its own Clippy. It could be a sloth that looks at its shoes and mumbles while it's talking to you.

"Looks like you're using a GNUWin program, HP2XX. You don't want any documentation, do you?"
"Christ yes, I forgot what the fifteenth command line switch does."
"What program do you want documentation for?"
"What version?"
"Let's try the only one I have, 3.4.4."
"You mean you want documentation for HP2XX version 3.4.4?"

I'm just glad I didn't have to download a LaTeX viewer to read it.


Adrian B said...

The documentation is right under GnuWin32 -> hp2xx... Why did they include those other menus too?

Ward said...

Man, tell me about it. After drilling down through all those levels, you end up...pretty much where you began.

Ed Avis said...

Obviously the final directory needs to be a symbolic link (or on Windows, 'reparse point'... there is some way to create them) back to hp2xx-3.44. Then the start menu could be infinitely deep.