Help using the HTML documentation is invoked with the built-in Emacs
browse-url, which displays the relevant help topic in a
browser of your choosing. Beginning with version 6.2, IDL comes with
the help browser IDL Assistant, which it uses by default for
displaying online help on all supported platforms. This browser
offers topical searches, an index, and is also now the default and
recommended IDLWAVE help browser. The variable
idlwave-help-use-assistant controls whether this browser is
used. Note that, due to limitations in the Assistant, invoking help
within IDLWAVE and
? topic within IDL will result in two
running copies of Assistant.
Aside from the IDL Assistant, there are many possible browsers to choose
among, with differing advantages and disadvantages. The variable
idlwave-help-browser-function controls which browser help is sent
to (as long as
idlwave-help-use-assistant is not set). This
function is used to set the variable
locally for IDLWAVE help only. Customize the latter variable to see
what choices of browsers your system offers. Certain browsers like EWW
(see EWW in The Emacs Web Wowser Manual) are run within Emacs,
and use Emacs buffers to display the HTML help. This can be convenient,
especially on small displays, and images can even be displayed in-line
on newer Emacs versions. However, better formatting results are often
achieved with external browsers, like Mozilla. IDLWAVE assumes any
browser function containing "w3" is displayed in a local buffer. If you
are using another Emacs-local browser for which this is not true, set
With IDL 6.2 or later, it is important to ensure that the variable
idlwave-system-directory is set (see Catalogs). One easy way
to ensure this is to run the IDL Shell (C-c C-s). It will be
queried for this directory, and the results will be cached to file for
See HTML Help Browser Tips, for more information on selecting and configuring a browser for use with IDL’s HTML help system.
Relative directory of the system-supplied HTML help directory,
considered with respect to
for IDL 6.2 and greater. Should not change.
The directory where the idl_html_help HTML directory live.
Obsolete and ignored for IDL 6.2 and greater
idlwave-html-system-help-location is used instead).
If set, use the IDL Assistant if possible for online HTML help,
otherwise use the browser function specified in
The browser function to use to display IDLWAVE HTML help. Should be
one of the functions available for setting
browse-url-browser-function, which see.
Is the browser selected in
idlwave-help-browser-function run in a
local Emacs buffer or window? Defaults to
t if the function
The face for links to IDLWAVE online help.