bugGNU Octave - Bugs: bug #40342, help "FolderName" to...


bug #40342: help "FolderName" to print Contents.m files does not work properly.

Submitter:  None
Submitted:  Tue 22 Oct 2013 02:54:17 AM UTC
Category:  Octave Function Severity:  3 - Normal
Priority:  5 - Normal Item Group:  Regression
Status:  Fixed Assigned to:  None
Originator Name:  Mario Kleiner Originator Email:  -email is unavailable-
Open/Closed:  * Closed Release:  * dev
Operating System:  * Any Fixed Release:  None
Planned Release:  None
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Tue 22 Oct 2013 09:37:44 AM UTC, comment #2: 
John W. Eaton <jwe>
Project Administrator
Tue 22 Oct 2013 03:14:17 AM UTC, comment #1: 

Confirmed the behavior and that this did work in 3.6.4.

The reason it now fails to show help is because

[t, f] = get_help_text_from_file ("Contents.m")
t =
f = Not documented

for the PsychDemos/Contents.m file mentioned in the report with no blank lines.

Mike Miller <mtmiller>
Project Administrator
Tue 22 Oct 2013 02:54:17 AM UTC, original submission:  


this is a funny regression. If i have a Contents.m file in a folder, e.g, "PsychDemos" with functions, then

help PsychDemos

does display the Contents.m file in that folder as it should in Octave 3.6.x and earlier, but doing the same thing in the 3.7.x development versions will say "error: help: 'PsychDemos' not found".

This makes it difficult to provide high level help files.
Strangely, adding two blank lines (newlines) to the end of such a Contents.m file makes the help function work again.

I tested this with Psychtoolbox, which has Contents.m files in each subfolder.


"help Psychtoolbox" works, as the Contents.m file in the top-level Psychtoolbox folder has 2 blank lines, but "help PsychDemos" doesn't work , as the Psychtoolbox/PsychDemos/Contents.m file doesn't have two extra blank lines.

This makes our help system a bit crippled on Octave 3.7+

It would be great if this could be fixed before the 3.8 release.




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  • -email is unavailable- added by rik5 (Updated the item)
  • -email is unavailable- added by jwe (Posted a comment)
  • -email is unavailable- added by mtmiller (Posted a comment)
  • -email is unavailable- added by None (Submitted the item)

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    Follow 5 latest changes.

    Date Changed by Updated Field Previous Value => Replaced by
    2013-10-24 rik5 StatusReady For Test Fixed
        Open/ClosedOpen Closed
    2013-10-22 jwe StatusConfirmed Ready For Test
    2013-10-22 mtmiller CategoryInterpreter Octave Function
        StatusNone Confirmed

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