Web application help

Subject: Web application help
From: Megan Golding <mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 15:50:10 -0500

My situation:
My company produces a web-based application to configure an Internet
security appliance. The target audience is the average computer user. The
configuration application needs help files. I will be the person to write
the help files and will work with the application developer to integrate
them into his work.

Most of our development takes place in a Linux environment but most users
will view help with a Windows-based PC.

My need:
I need two things:
1) a method of presenting help
to the users (pop-ups, etc.)
2) a tool for developing help

I figure I have two main options for presenting the help to the user: 1)
somewhere on the web page or 2) in a pop-up window. My concept of help right
now is: the user has a specific question about a term or section of the
application, they click a button, and help appears. The help could appear in
a specially segmented portion of the web browser or in a pop-up window.

The next step is to identify a development tool for creating these help
files. The web application is not "huge" -- I'd estimate less than 50 help
terms to define. Am I describing a ready-made tool or is hand-coding HTML in
vi my best (read - "easiest") bet?

My requirements:
1. End help product is platform independent (Win32, Linux, etc.)
2. End help product is browser compatible (IE, Netscape)
3. Development tool is platform independent
4. Development tool is open source

Megan Golding
SecureWorks, Inc.
(mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- net)

Develop HTML-based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver! (STC Discount.)
**NEW DATE/LOCATION!** January 16-17, 2001, New York, NY.
http://www.weisner.com/training/dreamweaver_help.htm or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by DigiPub Solutions Corp, producers of PDF 2001
Conference East, June 4-5, Baltimore/Washington D.C. area.
http://www.pdfconference.com or toll-free 877/278-2131.

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