Re: editable help systems

Subject: Re: editable help systems
From: SusanH -at- cardsetc -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 11:32:10 +1000

Russ Shade wrote.

"Although we have a core product, almost every package we publish is
heavily customized per the client's wishes...Because each client often has
different business rules (and because I'm a lone writer with a life), we
had to come up with a fast way to integrate business rules with our on-line
help product's help system. What we decided to use was WinHelp's
annotation feature."

I think Russ' solution is clever but an alternative may be to use
associated index links (a-links) to bring in customer-specific business
rules from a customer-specific Help file.

If you include a-links to additional information from the required topics.
you can develop and maintain the information for different customers in a
customer-specific help file.

If you publish the list of associated indexes, and if your Help information
model is well-defined, your customers can themselves develop additional
information during the life of the product, and those topics can be
dynamically included in the more information lists.

You never have to worry about disabling customer text in a new release
provided you maintain the associated indexes and their link contexts.

The above solution is valid for modular Help 4.0 and compressed HTML Help
systems. It provides a solution for enabling customers to enrich their
users' performance support by integrating their own business info with
proprietary Help.

Russ, I think a-links would give you a more manageable solution and if you
are interested, I can send you details about the implementation.

Susan Harkus

Cards etc will be on stand 1161 at CardTech SecurTech in Miami
from 2nd May to 4th May. Look forward to seeing you there!
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