| So what process do you use to get the HSX files you are interested in? I
| suppose you could have a test computer with an OS that can easily be
| reimaged, and install a SDK, search for the HSXs of interest, convert
| to CHMs, and then save them for later use. Or do you use MSI to extract
| files of interest from the SDK installation package?
I try to never install anything I don't have to,
in order to avoid system changes. And there's
really no reason to "install" docs.
If necessary I unpack an MSI. With the link I
provided to the Server 2003 SDK there are 2
options. The download is an ISO that ends up
being 3 MSIs (32- and 64-bit options) plus a
pile of CABs. The CABs have clear names. One
can just extract the CABs with "DOC" in the name.
The second, easier option is to use an unpacker: http://www.jsware.net/jsware/msicode.php5
Copy the appropriate MSI and CABs from the CD
to a folder on disk. Drop the MSI onto the unpacker
script. The script will unpack the whole thing to a
folder hierarchy that mimics what would happen if
it were actually installed. The HXS and HXI files are
then easy to find. They're all extracted to the path:
ProgramFilesFolder\Microsoft Platform SDK for Windows Server 2003 R2\Help\
That folder can then just be dropped onto the
converter script to get CHMs.
I've been looking into writing another script to
create a "help collection". People who have MSDN 2001
or earlier installed can read the whole MSDN set
of SDK docs with a single index. That's a collection,
comprising a large number of "merged" CHMs.
Theoretically one can have multiple collections
by using a .COL file for each collection and registering
each collection in a file called hhcolreg.dat.
Unfortunately, there seems to be no official
documentation for this at all. I can only find snippets
of info. and I don't seem to be finding the whole story.
I *think* I should be able to create a .COL file that,
when clicked, would open the entire Server 2003 SDK
(or any other selected collection of CHMs) in the MSDN
library viewer, with a single, merged index. That would
mean that people using VS 5/6 with the CHM help system
could update their docs past 2001. (2001 was the last
MSDN version that was CHM.) But so far my experiments
just result in MSDN not working at all.
If anyone has thorough info. about how all of that
works I'd be interested to know. I have details about
how to write the two files. It's just not working so far.