In prior versions of the system, many of the help files were stored in ascii file format in specific directories on the network server. These help files can be edited using any word processor or text editor that can read and write ASCII files (this obviously is not a good use of time if the help data has already been moved to and is accessed from the COVETEXT records described above as the updated information will never be used).
If the system parameter F248:VIEWONEZ is set to "Y" the system will allow the user to edit/create help text by forcing the error to occur, entering/editing the help text and pressing the SAVE key.
The ascii help files were kept in the COVE\HELP directory. The system parameter F248:SYS-HELP contains the complete path to the COVE\HELP directory. Multiple help file extensions were used to allow for duplicate names (these extentions are also used in the type field in the newer COVETEXT help records).
The ascii help file names could not contain any special characters. When the system called the GenCode table help file it converted any semi-colons (":") in the table name of gencode records to dashes ("-"). This was required since the table names field of some Gencode records were constructed using the file number and field number on either side of a ":" which produces a non-accessible file name. The COVETEXT records that are now used do not share this limitation or problem since the information is now stored in database records and the code field of these records can contain the special characters.
To allow for the use of additional sources of information for a specific help item the older system allowed the ASCII help files to contain "SEE ALSO:" codes at the end of the ASCII file. These "See Also:" codes were loaded into a list which the user could select from to view associated information. To add a "See Also:" code - at the end of the text portion of the help document the user created a line starting with the text SEE ALSO: followed by the name of a document file that contained the information desired. The document name should only consist of the primary section of the document name. The DHT extension will automatically be added by the system.
Prior Versions – Ascii help file format
xxxxxxxx.EHT xxxxxxx is the Error Number
xxxxxxxx.PHT xxxxxxx is the Parameter
xxxxxxxx.GHT xxxxxxx is the GenCode table name
xxxxxxxx.DHT xxxxxxx is the program or document name for Cove program specific help documents (the same document as in the printed manuals).
xxxxxxxx.SHT xxxxxxx is the program or document name for site specific help. The availability of this help text is provided to allow system administrators to provide their own company/site specific help information that contains the companies operational procedures and/or policies.