Generating Help Automatically

Subject: Generating Help Automatically
From: Robert_Johnson -at- percussion -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000 16:23:13 -0500

The senior developer in my company wants to generate Help automatically as part
of the build process for the software. In other words, when they set up the
manufacturing process to make a new build, he wants to automatically trigger our
HAT (RoboHTML in this case, targeting WebHelp) to regenerate the Help system
(again, in this case, rebuild a whole new WebHelp system) each time we make a
new build, so each build includes the latest revisions to the Help.

I've never heard of generating Help automatically or in the background in this
way. I checked the Robo documentation and the eHelp website and turned up
nothing. I also checked the archives under every permutation and variation I
could think of and turned up a blank. Does anyone use such a background or
automated process to generate Help? Has anyone heard of such a thing?

As I'm sure you can guess, I'm not at all happy about this idea, since it means
that unreviewed content will be included in the build. What I have always done
in the past is create a release directory, which stored all documentation that
was ready for release (meaning it had been reviewed and revised).

Please, let us hold back on the vitriol about endless cycles of reviews and
attachment to process!! What I'm looking for is discussion about whether it is
possible to generate Help automatically or in the background, and if so, how
exactly to do it.

Many thanks in advance for your contributions.

Bob Johnson
Documentation Specialist
Percussion Software
Stoneham, MA

Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
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