Links in GUI to Help database

I would like to see GUI links into documentation in addition to the item hints. I would begin with the high level links. For example, the reports/peers output. I have spent some time searching for documentation on the column items. A link to a page explaining the implications of the displayed information would be great. Eventually links in the page could lead on to more detail about the items.

Every area of the GUI could use a link to a documentation page and I believe this approach would offer an excellent structure for documenting the interface.

In 1978 I created a help subsystem which allowed for creation of a linked help database and also provided the programming tools for the developers to display both exception events and handle help requests. The development tools relied on keys alone and the displayed results were driven by the database contents which were not created by the developers but by more end user oriented persons. The result was a much more productive application.


Documentation is a volunteer effort. We would welcome any sustainable assistance to improve the documentation.

As an example, the columns you mentioned are only vaguely documented in the Asterisk documentation let alone an upstream app like FreePBX.

When the new site format launches it will enable much easier navigation and maintenance of the documentation.

A discussion which arrives at a workable architecture would be a nice beginning point.

As an example, I would suggest that their needs to be an indirect design where:

  1. a click would create a call to and pass a key to a local resource (maybe an Asterisk “Documentation” module).

  2. The module would locate, in a data structure, the link associated with the key. The local module could have the ability to check for changes in the documentation and upload key mapping changes or additions.

  3. The link would be used to open a web based, or optionally local, html page.

  4. Tools for supporting developers inclusion and processing of clickable targets would be created.

  5. Tools for posting links by documentation authors to the web based link update database would be created.

  6. Within the documentation, sublinks would offer navigation to additional levels of detail.

Contributions to the general help database can be gathered from multiple willing sources while the immediate targets of the GUI clickables can be as carefully managed as necessary.

I hope this helps stimulate further thinking.