Hi user8612375 (please tell us your name - we're a friendly group),
I sent this question to the ApEx support team a couple weeks ago as I also found it very unusual (and not nearly as "help"-ful as before) - though my question referred specifically to the instance on apex.oracle.com. The reply was that this is the expected behavior for 4.1. I don't know if this is the way it works if I download and install it, as I haven't had a chance yet. I'm hoping this isn't the case - I sometimes take my laptop places where there is no internet connection and it's nice to have the help facility available locally.
Ok, so I changed my user name now.... Anyhow the lack of a "built in" help system seems pretty weak. I feel it's like buying a car, and then haveing to go on-line for the user manual of the car. The change from 4.0 to 4.1 wasn't that drastic, it would of taken little time to change the help. I mean sure, I never did get the search feature working for the help, but it was VERY VERY convenient to have the help at "my fingertips". As one of the better matured products from Oracle as of late, it just seems like a bit of a let down.
I personally have not used the "help" documentation that ships with APEX for years. I've found I get answers to my questions faster by searching the on-line documentation and other resources. This is a move in the right direction for the reasons Joel states in his blog. I feel for users that do apex development not being connected to the internet.
I personally used the apex help quite frequently and thought it good that it was one of the products that made it available with the installation, and as such was a bit surprised when I saw Joels blog post about it this morning. Though, its no biggie - probably better to be sure users are accessing the latest help files.
I also was surprised to see that the documentation wasn't included anymore... not even some release notes or an installation guide. I personally find this a loss. I mean, for what reason? To save 30 MB download size?? I used to place the documentation locally on a shared server so the other developers could use this. We have a pretty slow internet connection at work...
>> We have a pretty slow internet connection at work...
The search functionality on the Welcome page of the local APEX documentation library is Internet depended. I recently learned from the Documentation team about a great option of local searching that is extremely fast and based on Acrobat search.
Under the directory where you extracted the documentation zip file, go to the doc directory and double click on index.pdx. This should open your Acrobat reader. Press Ctrl+Shift+F and use the search option of In the index named index.pdx. This will completely free you from your slow internet connection.
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