Progress is being made, guys, I promise.
Here is the current issue: I’ve identified how the menus are made. Specifically the “Function menus” which contain the stuff you actually want tooltips for. They belong to a class called “dynamic palette menus” because they are built beforehand from a list stored server-side in biobike. At the server compile it reads this list and generates a menu item for each function. This seems like a fairly hairline difference between a “hard-coded” menu item. I guess the only difference being that if you make a new function, all you have to do is update that list with the function name and recompile the server and it will make a new menu item for it.
Either way, there’s a set of even more dynamic than the previously-mentioned dynamic menus. These are the ones I like to call the truly dynamic menus: the User Favorites menu. This pays attention to what functions you as the user are employing, and it puts your top five most used in a constantly-updating little menu box.
In order to get tooltips to show up on biobike, the question presents itself: Do I want to take a static approach, or a more dynamic approach? I think in the end the underlying changes will be the same. I, or hopefully someone more knowledgeable in Biology, will either have to go through and add a “Tooltip” variable to the definitions of each function in biobike, which is a string containing said tooltip, or a file that lisp reads to create an array holding all available tooltips, matched against all currently existing functions.
Actually making the tooltips appear is going to be easier than figuring out how to get the tooltips in there. Also, the decision isn’t technically mine alone. Since I’m not the only person looking at and maintaining this program, we’ve got a little bit of interoffice communication/collaboration going on!
Edit:I’ve discovered that every function, as it is defined, has a SUMMARY field that contans a string with EXACTLY what we wanted to show up in the tooltip. Why isn’t this anywhere in biobike already? I’m not sure. I’m really confused about it.