RE: Dreamweaver to create HTML Help?

Subject: RE: Dreamweaver to create HTML Help?
From: "Kinsky, John" <jkinsky -at- filenet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 16:46:07 -0800

We are following the Dreamweaver path for many of the same reasons John
Garison enumerates. HTML Help and WebHelp are not viable options for us.
While it's not the only alternative, Dreamweaver is a good one.

Dreamweaver doesn't provide some of the nice features often found in HAT's,
like easy TOC and index generation; however, the application does generate
error-free HTML and provides us with an opportunity to separate ourselves
from Java applet support problems that seem to nag WebHelp and Web Works
Publisher. As a veteran of Word's bloated HTML, well-formed FrameMaker
sludge, eHelp's kadov-encrusted HTML, and the garbage Front Page and Visual
InterDev produces, I welcome the clean HTML (and scripting) produced by

Designing for cross-browser support doesn't mean you need to scrap all
innovation; it just means you have to test your design against the different
browser versions (on as many platforms as you can). If you're supporting
early version of Netscape, don't use Flash. CSS1 elements work just fine on
all IE 4.0x (and higher) and Netscape 4.0x (and higher) browsers, but you
might need to adjust for display differences.

One major point in favor of Dreamweaver is its use of templates to control
layout. You can design the generic layout elements once and then don't have
to bother with them, which saves time and tinkering.

Like FrameMaker, Dreamweaver takes some time to learn your way around the
application; however, once you've mastered it, you'll be amazed at the speed
with which you can accomplish substantial results. The thing to remember is
that Dreamweaver was not designed to be a HAT; the application was designed
for creating and managing web sites. However, it's a good tool for those
strange concomitant areas where help systems and web sites become almost

John M. Kinsky, Senior Technical Writer
FileNET Corporation
3565 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92646
email: jkinsky -at- filenet -dot- com
phone: 714.327.5832

-----Original Message-----
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com [mailto:jgarison -at- ide -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 1:12 PM
Subject: RE: Dreamweaver to create HTML Help?

We are using it, and so far, it seems like a fine alternative to HATTs.

There is a new sub-culture evolving around this idea. Ben Weisner is a
leading light. For more information, check out

And ... Browser-independent does NOT mean that you can't use CSS. Our
product is a browser-based application, and requires up-to-date browsers,
all of which support CSS, Java, and JavaScript.

We don't feel like we're giving up much by abandoning HTMLHelp which is NOT
an option for us as not all our users are on PCs or use IE. We use a search
engine instead of an index. It's much more web-like which is what our users
are accustomed to.

We'll let you know how it pans out ... Come see the bleeding edge session
I'll be giving at the STC Annual Conference in Chicago and see if we made


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

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

Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
**WEST COAST LOCATIONS** San Jose (Mar 1-2), San Francisco (Apr 16-17) or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by ForeFront, Inc., maker of ForeHelp Help authoring tools
for print, WinHelp, HTML Help, JavaHelp, and cross-platform InterHelp
See for more information and free evaluation downloads

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