RE: Generating Help Automatically

Subject: RE: Generating Help Automatically
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 07:55:13 -0500

In our company, Help is built in to the application as well, but the
software build process does not kick off a Help build. Rather, every time we
get a candidate Help system (one that's "good enough" for release) we put
the end user HTML and graphics files into a special directory where the
software build grabs it and copies it into the product installation.

See if they will accept that compromise. You might explain that if they kick
off a Help build at some random time, it may contain something that's not
ready for prime time. Ask them how they would like it if, every time you
built Help, you also built the software.

Good luck,


John Garison
Documentation Manager
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742

Voice: 978-402-2907
Fax: 978-318-9376

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert_Johnson -at- percussion -dot- com
[mailto:Robert_Johnson -at- percussion -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 4:23 PM
Subject: Generating Help Automatically

The senior developer in my company wants to generate Help automatically as
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
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
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
way. I checked the Robo documentation and the eHelp website and turned up
nothing. I also checked the archives under every permutation and variation
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
that unreviewed content will be included in the build. What I have always
in the past is create a release directory, which stored all documentation
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
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.)
**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY. or 800-646-9989.

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