RE: Web application help

Subject: RE: Web application help
From: "Richard Smith" <Richard -dot- Smith -at- windriver -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 15:29:08 -0800

Megan asks:
<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>

#4 is gonna limit you pretty much. Just about every dev tool people on this
list talk about is not open source.

Hi Megan,
Javascript works well for a secondary window popup type help topics. It is
also easy to script the help popup to close when the page that calls it is
unloaded. It is dev platform independent and relatively browser independent.
Oh, wait... you said vi, so if you still use lynx ;-)
you're outa luck.

But seriously, you mention two possibilities. A popup or a designated part
of the page (via tables or frames, i'd assume). Either path will have
certain browser issues unless you use very plain (old school) HTML. But
don't kill yourself trying to include everybody. Use whatever research your
app developers have to guide you. Will the app make use of scripts? If so,
then you can too. Does the app use a frameset? If so, you can too. Your
audience is their audience. Don't hold yourself to a more stringent criteria
than the app developers do.

So the real question is... vi or emacs.
btw, is vi platform independent?

Have fun,
Richard Smith

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