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Using (help)


Using the Help Facility from within the CLIPS dialog window.

The help facility displays menus of topics and prompts the user for a choice. It then references the help file for that information. The help facility can be called with or without a command-line topic.


   (help [<path>])

where <path> is the full path leading to a topic in the help tree. For example, for information on defrule syntax, the user would type:

(help construct_summary defrule).  

The help function has no return value.

Each element or field in the path is delimited by white space, and the help facility is not case sensitive. In addition, the entire name of a field does not need to be specified. Only enough characters to distinguish the field from other choices in the menu are necessary (if there is a conflict, the help facility will pick the first one in the list). For instance, (help con def) would be sufficient for the above example.

A few special fields can be used while in the help facility.

^ Branch up one level.

? When specified at the end of a path, this forces a display of the

current menu, even on branch-ups.

<nil> Giving no topic field will branch up one level.

A branch-up from the MAIN topic root node implies an exit from help.

By default, the help facility comes up in the MAIN topic root menu and the user may make a choice as described above. The prompt line always displays the name of the current menu. The help facility will branch through the help-tree until instructed to exit by a branch-up from the top level. The level always is reset to the MAIN topic upon exit from the help facility.

The first call to the help facility will take longer than successive calls while the system loads help information into an internal lookup table. All other calls to the help facility are very fast.

The help facility reads help information from a file during execution. Users may wish to change the location of the help file to meet the configuration of their system. The help-path function was provided to allow this.


   (help-path [<help-file-name>])

If no argument is specified, the function displays the name of the current help file. If an argument is specified, the help facility will use the new file name for future help references during this CLIPS session. To change the location of the help file permanently, a change must be made in the setup.h file, then CLIPS must be recompiled. The help-path function has no return value.

clips/clip58v9.txt · Last modified: 2010/01/04 20:47 (external edit)
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