RE: Need Help selecting Help Tool [LONG]

Subject: RE: Need Help selecting Help Tool [LONG]
From: Bill Burns <BillDB -at- intl -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2000 11:11:46 -0700

I wanted to clarify some points that Lydia makes here.

> You seem like you know some about both tools, but just to reiterate for
> the
> group, WWP is NOT a HAT. 8< snip >8 What you do from there is use other
> tools to get the final output you need (like using the HTML Help Workshop
> or
> the WinHelp compiler, if you are looking at compiled forms of help).
>
But these tools are installed with WWP, and it's easy enough to launch from
the WWP project dialog. It's more of a single-source development tool than a
HAT, but to me, that means it provides more power and control, not less.

> WWP does not give you the useful interface that true HATs provide. If you
> use WWP, you have to be willing to put the time and effort into your Frame
> files to have them convert into usable formats for online help.
>
True. To get the most out of the tool, you have to learn both Frame and WWP
inside and out.

> WWP will not
> help you add links, track and update indexing, or do the many other nice
> things to your files that a HAT does.
>
But none of this should be necessary. The point is that you can manage all
of this from your Frame book, then create a conversion routine that handles
all of the linking, cross-referencing, and indexing. None of this should
have to be done twice (that is, once in Frame and once on the output end).

You do have to set project parameters for each type of project, but once
these are done, you can generate a template with the same window settings,
macros, and so on. You don't need any other tool, and if your point is to
have a push-button operation with no postprocessing to produce multiple
formats, it's the only tool I know of that will get your there. MIF2Go may
allow more control now than it used to, but apart from using Omnimark
scripts, I don't know of any other tool that allows the level of control
that WWP does.

Bill Burns - Eccentric Technology Consultant
INT'L.com Design & Development
billdb -at- intl -dot- com
"Being disintegrated makes me very angry."






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