Re: Usefulness of "What's This" help

Subject: Re: Usefulness of "What's This" help
From: Glen Warner <gdwarner -at- ricochet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 01:17:54 -0700

> "Diane Evans" <dianee -at- lockstream -dot- com> wrote:

> I like very short "What's This" descriptions. When I am overwhelmed
by a
> new software product, I enjoy putting my mouse over an object and
seeing a
> message such as "Opens New Doodad for editing".

I also like these descriptions. On the Mac, these descriptions are
optional -- that is, you select 'Show Balloons' from the Help menu.
If the developer was nice, you get your descriptions (if s/he wasn't,
s/he gets an e-mail from me).

I'm working on a salary calculator program in REALBasic, and I pulled
the Balloon Help code out entirely and replaced it with code to
display this sort of text in a text field on the main window when the
mouse is over appropriate controls (pushbuttons, check boxes, etc.).
The text disappears when the mouse moves away from the control, of

Reading this thread has me thinking that I should include an option to
turn this off ... or perhaps include a delay. The app is pretty
simple, and once you've run it, there should be no need for this help
... so the option to kill the descriptions sounds good.
> Diane Evans


"A product's only late once, but it can suck forever."
--B. Spees, Ambrosia Sofware


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