Just wanna get something off my chest.
So I'm building a little desktop application and I want to include documentation. I'm working in Java and a little search leads me to JavaHelp, Sun's system that's designed pretty much for this kind of purpose. Rings a bell, thinks I. Turns out I played around with this stuff about 10 years ago. To avoid redoing things I tracked down what I'd done back then - more on that it a mo.
The JavaHelp system depends on a jar lib (well, one or more), so I went off to get it. Alas Oracle have totally buggered up the former Sun site. Long story short, you can't just download what you need any more. There are also vast swathes of 404s where there used to be material.
I finally found the JavaHelp source in svn, but the build on that had a dependency on a JDIC lib which wasn't available any more except for as source, so I got that and tried a build - that had a load of dependencies not only on Java stuff but also native libs. It failed and I gave up.
However, funnily enough, Oracle had done their own version of the Javahelp toolkit which is downloadable, OHJ, and as far as I can tell that should do what I want (bit more heavyweight but also better-looking).
Anyhow, I'm not exactly a paragon of virtue myself when it comes to Cool URIs. The stuff I'd done with JavaHelp in the past had dropped off the Web. But (to my considerable surprise) I was able to find up a backup CD in about 2 minutes flat. So I've stuck the material back online, linked from a page I made for Old Stuff. Not only was there the JavaHelp material (a little utility I'd written to generate its meta files, Autohelp) but also 3 draft chapters, with lots of code, I wrote for a book that never got published on doing sound/media in Java and various other bits and pieces I'd completely forgotten. Blimey!
Almost as surprising was that the code, with a minimal bit of tweaking - imports usage seems to have changed a wee bit - still works. (Biggest change I had to make was a few lines for serialising XML that was using the now-defunct Crimson lib, but even there I'd left some commented-out code for using Xerces, which gave me a starting point for fixing it).
So despite a lot of irritation, I'm now a happy bunny.
PS. "...to the ridiculous" - I got so far with the Oracle kit, then got a bit stuck because it wasn't creating the index files needed for search. Googling to get to the bottom of that, I found a ref to jhindexer.sh on the Suse site. On a hunch I checked Synaptics: JavaHelp is in the Ubuntu repositories! (javahelp2).