[Koha] Vote request for Bug 18483 Customised help: Enhance staff client with news based, easily editable help system (Passed QA -> In Discussion)

Marc Véron veron at veron.ch
Mon Oct 30 19:25:48 NZDT 2017

Dear Koha community

On 2017-04-22 I filed Bug 18483 "Customised help: Enhance staff client 
with news based, easily editable help system".

The Enhancement was ready for Sign off on 2017-04-30, was signed off on 
2017-05-02, and, after some discussion, passed QA on 2017-10-27, and the 
same day was set to "In Discussion".

The aim of the bug is described in the initial comment. It fills a 
request we have since 2012. In short, it is about having an additional 
help system that allows libraries to create their own, library specific 
help information, taking advantage of all functionality we already have 
with the news system.

Initial comment:

"Koha's staff client has a file based help system with an edit function 
for customising. However, the edited files have to be saved and restored 
with each release. Otherwise they are overwritten.

As an enhancement or alternative, the existing news system can be used 
to implement a complementing help system. Similar to the news, the text 
can be created for all branches or for individual branches. Help is 
context sensitive (based on the existing help system), and it can be 
created / edited directly from the help page (based on a user permission).

The display can be managed with a system preference (Bug 18472: Add 
system preference CustomOnlineHelpStaff to hide / select custom online 
help system)."
---End quote ---

Author's answer on a question of QA team member M. de Rooy (asked on Bug 
18472, Comment 21), moved to Bug 18483:

- Having a user editable, page aware help system is a long outstanding 
need. First time I was asked for goes back to 2012.
- We have libraries interested in Koha who ask for in their requirements.
- Writing a brand new help module would take a lot of time. And who 
would fund it?

- The news system works very well and libraries are used to use it. The 
help additons introduced in Bug 18483 enhances the news system to host 
custom help as well.
- From a user standpoint it is easy to use, you can add whatever you 
want / need as help. All the benefits of the news system can be used. 
Custom help items can easyly be added / edited.
- It can be turned on and off (combined with the existing file based 
help system or 'standalone'). This Bug 18472 is the basis for turning on 
and off and/or add additional help systems.
- There is no change in behavior of news and file based help system if 
turned off (however this patch allows to turn off the edit function of 
the existing file based help system).

- In Bug 18483, I paid great attention to have a minimal impact on 
existing code. No changes in .pm files were needed.
- There is a small database change to have a field to host the page key 
if a news item is used as help item.

Things to come:
- Since the news system works for both staff client and OPAC it will be 
easy to implement the editable help for OPAC as well (Bug 18515)

So I kindly ask for Bug 18472 and Bug 18483 to make part of Koha.
---End quote---

After the enhancement has been put to "In discussion", I kindly ask the 
Koha community to vote about Bug 18483 as outlined in:

Thanks and kind regards

Marc Véron
Koha Support Schweiz
Contributing to Koha since 2012

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