Re: Advice required

Subject: Re: Advice required
From: Sandy Harris <sandy -at- storm -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 12:43:11 -0400

NAOMINIGEL -at- aol -dot- com wrote:

> I've been offered a contract to produce on-line documentation for an application
> designed to work on multiple platforms. ... A single set of files is required
> which will run on all browsers without the need to use Java.
> May I please have advice on which writing tool would be the most effective to
> produce the documentation for this application?

One obvious possibility is to just do the whole thing in HTML. I have a set of
docs done that way ( using plain old text editors (vi and
Wordpad) for all the editing.

You might prefer a different way to edit. A check through list archives will
turn up a number of conversations about HTML editors and, in particular, which
ones produce clean HTML usable across platforms.

Conside Amaya, the free integrated browser/editor from

If you need other formats for output from HTML files, have a look at htmldoc,
a free download (but they charge for support) from From a set
of HTML files, it can produce:

HTML files with previous/contents/next links plus contents file
one big HTML file with table of contents
PDF with handy navigation bar

I find it easy to use and it works reasonably well. However, I had user
complaints about font tags it added, I don't like those myself, and did
not find an easy way to disable that feature. I therefore wrote a sed
script to trash those tags. It is in the FreeS/WAN distribution, under a
GPL license, if you need it.

Depending what other requirements you have or anticipate, and what tools
you prefer working with, you might also do this using some single source
method that outputs HTML and other formats from some standard source form.

Consider at least DocBook XML ( for info and
for examples) and Framemaker if you want to go this route. An archive search
will likely turn up many more possibilities.


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Advice required: From: NAOMINIGEL

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