Experimental project

This is a sandbox project, which contains experimental code for developer use only.

This is a spin-off from #2351991: Add a config entity for a configurable, topic-based help system.

On that issue, a new configuration entity was proposed for Drupal 8 Core, which would allow site builders, module developers, and theme developers to use the Drupal administrative UI to define, share, and deploy help topics. See the issue summary for details.

That patch initially didn't make the 8.0.x deadline, so this Sandbox module was spun off to continue development.

During the 8.1.x cycle, part of the original sandbox here was spun off into core issue #2661200: Make admin/help page more flexible, and list tours on it, which allowed core and contrib modules to add sections to the main admin/help page. The rest of the project here, however, missed the 8.1.x deadline.

During the 8.2.x cycle, the patch author (jhodgdon) decided to stop trying to pursue getting it into Core, at least for the present.

During the 8.5.x cycle, a group formed to try to get this into Core again. There are two issues about this:

#2592487: [meta] Help system overhaul -- an "Ideas" queue issue proposing to have it be an Official Initiative to get this into Core as an experimental module

#2920309: Add experimental module for Help Topics -- which is working on the Core patch (basically this module but put into Core)

We are working on individual issues in this module's issue queue, and adding them to the Core issue as they are resolved. See
https://www.drupal.org/project/issues/2369943?categories=All
if you want to help.

Current status

(This section last updated 3 February 2018)

The module is working, and has automated tests, which all pass locally (there is no automated tests for experimental modules). The branch to use is 8.x-2.x. However, it's a sandbox, and may not be completely stable. Also, this branch is only compatible with Drupal 8.5.x or later, as of a change made on 17 Jan 2018. Specifically, you'll need to use either Drupal 8.5.0-alpha1, or a development version from 15 Dec 2017, or a later version.

There was a backwards incompatible change made on 3 February. (We changed the name and machine name of the module.) To update to this new code, you will need to do the following, if you have created your own help topics that you want to retain:
- Update your Git download of this project to the following commit (just before the change) in the 8.x-2.x branch:
https://cgit.drupalcode.org/sandbox-jhodgdon-2369943/commit/?h=8.x-2.x&i...
- Run update.php. If you were previously in the 1.x branch, this will update your help topics to the 2.x config format.
- Export any help topics you have written, using the core Configuration Manager module (go to admin/config/development/configuration/single/export to export your help topics). Save them as plain text files. It is not necessary to export the help topics that came with the Configurable Help module.
- Uninstall the Configurable Help module.
- Update your Git download to the latest code from the 8.x-2.x branch. The machine name of the module has changed to help_topics, so you will need to change the name of the folder/directory it is in to be help_topics (not config_help as it was before).
- Install the new module. If using drush, the module name is help_topics; if using the Extend page, it is called Help Topics.
- Go to admin/config/development/configuration/single/import to import the help topics you exported. (Paste the exported text into the window there for each topic.)

You might also want to check the issue list to see what still needs to be done.

Project information