RE: Questions about help authoring

Subject: RE: Questions about help authoring
From: "Thomas Quine" <quinet -at- home -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 19:01:37 -0700

> I believe your whole problem could be solved with the new version of
> RoboHELP 9, specifically the WebHelp feature, which is cross-platform,
> Web-enabled help.
> See:
* - Thom

Subject: Questions about help authoring

Hello, oh wise ones --

I've spent much of this last week reseaching different approaches to
building help that will run on Windows and several flavors of Unix. I
searched the archives, been all over the web and feel like I'm surgically
attached to this computer :-) Sooooo, I have a few questions. Forgive if
they are simplistic, but I come from a Word and paper world. Actually, I'm
tickled that the opportunity to learn this stuff just dropped onto my lap,
right when I was thinking that I'd like to try it.

- If I build the help system in HTML, it should be portable pretty much
anywhere. However, a set of HTML files includes links to each other and the
path specifications are quite different between operating systems. How is
that difference handled without rebuilding the HTML files for each OS?

- I'm leaning toward using ForeHelp Premiere for building the system, though
it only runs in Windows. The tutorial demonstrated a powerful tool. I'm told
that minor changes can be made directly to the resulting HTML in Unix
without wrecking the help system, but if those minor changes aren't folded
into the Forehelp project they'll be lost the next time the help is built.
Further, we'd have to come back to ForeHelp for major changes. Any thoughts?

- It looks like using Netscape's Composer + NetHelp would give the maximum
OS independence for building, though it ties us to Netscape. Has anyone
experience with this approach?

- Does anyone have experience with using Dreamweaver for the whole shebang,
as the folks at Weisner suggest (see the link at bottom of all the list
messages)? How does one build searches, table of contents and index? Other
tools? Too bad their class is in December -- I need to make a decision long
before that.

Any other thoughts? Your advice is much appreciated. Happy weekend.

-- Meg (who is having fun taking a big, splashy jump into something new.)

Learn how to develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver!
Dec. 7-8, 2000, Orlando, FL -- $100 discount for STC members. or 800-646-9989.

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