GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Code-in 2012 The NetBSD Project

Create a concept for a documentation browser

completed by: Monika

mentors: Radoslaw Kujawa, Julian Coleman, Julian Fagir

There are many possibilities to ship documentation together with the distribution. Most operating systems stick to providing their documentation PDF, HTML, cleartext, GNU info or manpages. NetBSD currently uses various formats for documentation, but for this task, this doesn't matter.

In case your system is offline (when the Internet connection shut down, or you are on your notebook), you want to have this information available.
We want to write an offline documentation browser, but the whole user interface is unclear. What kind of links do you provide (remember: A browser might not be available)? How do you select them? By numbering them, by commandline (like vi), by selecting them with cursors? When using cursors, how do you browse? How would you implement a browser history?

This task is not strictly user interface, you also have to research how it is possible. We want to reuse as many tools as possible (like less(1)) as they sometimes fulfill complicated tasks.

In the end, we expect a declaration of how the user interface should look like, such that the programmer can directly start to program this interface. You should not only provide this declaration, but also a reasoning why this choice is the best one, and some conceptual drawings that show your interface "in action".

If this task is interesting for you, we can support you also after Code-In if you want to write such a browser (in C), the actual language for the markup depending on a prior task.