I'm now in a position to report on progress with this.
The .zip file for the DirectSearch v2 package, available from this page on the Application Center, now includes the English and Russian .help files converted from the corresponding .hdb files.
I've been corresponding with member Earl, and he tells me that he can now view the package's Help pages in his Maple 2016.0 after downloading that new .zip file.
And I've entered a bug report that the Maple 2016.0 .hdb conversion mechanism is not working for that package's help archive files.
Over on the Maple Beta testing forum I've also been discussing issues with Maple not detecting these .help files, after they are placed in a custom location (ie. folder or directory) other than the lib folder of the Maple installation itself.
In Maple 15.01 it was possible to issue a command to augment the libname path with a custom folder (directory), in a worksheet of a running Standard GUI session, and then successfully query the Help topics of pages in .hdb Help archive located in the augmented location. For example, after launching the Standard GUI I could issue a command like
libname := "C:/DirectSearch/lib", libname;
and then in that same running session successfuly query the Help pages in the .hdb file in that folder. But in Maple 16.02 and later versions that no longer works. Such dynamic adjustment of libname still works for accessing commands and values stored in similarly placed .mla archives, but it is not working for picking up pages from Help archives. I am submitting a new report against this regression.
Here are two alternative suggestions about how to use a custom location (not the lib folder of the Maple installation) for either .hdb or .help archives.
1) Put that same Maple command to augments libname in your Maple initialization file instead. For example if I put that command in the file C:\\Users\dlinder\maple.ini on my Windows 7 machine, and then completely close the Standard GUI and relaunch it, then I can successfully access the Help pages in the .hdb/.maple files I placed in the specified custon location.
2) Place all of the .mla/.hdb/.help files in a custom location as they comprised a Maple toolbox. For example, on my Windows 7 machine, I can place the files in C:\\Users\dlinder\maple\toolbox\DirectSearch\lib and then close and relaunch the Standard GUI and successfully access the commands and Help pages of that package. This is what Earl has told me works for him too. In this case it is not necessary to add a line to the initialization file to augment libname explicitly, since Maple does that automatically for such folders.
If anyone is not aware of what Maple considers as their home directory on their platform then it can be found by issuing the Maple command kernelopts(':-homedir') . On my Windows 7 machine the result from that command is "C:\Users\dlinder" while on my Unix/OSX/Linux account it is "/home/dlinder" .
I can also mention that the problem in Maple 2016.0 with migrating .hdb files may also affect other packages authored by users. I'll be looking at the OrthogonalFunctions package on the Application Center, and a colleague tells me that he is in contact with the authors of the Lattice and Orbitals packages.
Mathematical Software, Maplesoft