Re: Dynamic Help

Subject: Re: Dynamic Help
From: John Cornellier <cornellier1 -at- stavanger -dot- oilfield -dot- slb -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 15:08:25 +0200

That use case is describing a solutions database rather than a [conventional] help system.

Adding user comments to the help implies that new information is being added, and that it should be shared via one server to many clients. Help is usually client side.

The information in help systems is by nature pretty static (though the presentation can be dynamic).

Again, what's the environment? What's the audience? What's the budget?

2003-05-21 14:04:16, Brian Das <brian_das -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:

>Hi there,
>John Cornellier wrote: "In MS's "HTML" Help and Sun's JavaHelp you can also
>add a link to a (hard coded) file name (e.g. called mynotes.html) the
>contents of which the user can edit, and it'll appear in the help without
>the need for recompiling."
>This solution (and a recent solution that suggested using a .txt file) puts
>an onus on the user to edit and save (and not move or rename) a file --
>that's a big margin for error, and a lot of clickthrough. And the help
>system wouldn't be able to tell the user which topics have saved comments
>and which don't -- the user would have to click every link in every topic to
>find out.
>Can anyone think of a solution that doesn't have this risk? The only one I
>can think of is to deploy the help on a server, and install a local database
>or spreadsheet on the client machine.
>Here's a simple use case: The user clicks a "comment" link in a help topic
>that opens an ASP page (or whatever). The ASP page presents a textbox. The
>user types the comments and clicks save. The ASP page saves the comment in a
>local database. The next time the user opens the page, it detects if there's
>a comment and lets the user know (with an icon, or something).
>And who's got the time and coin to build something like that?!? Go with
>"vanilla" WinHelp!


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Re: Dynamic Help: From: Brian Das

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