RE: GoLive vs. Dreamweaver

Subject: RE: GoLive vs. Dreamweaver
From: Mailing List <mlist -at- ca -dot- rainbow -dot- com>
To: 'Sean Hower' <hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 11:49:41 -0500

Sean Hower [mailto:hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com]
> kevin wrote:
> "Of course, nobody uses the built-in WYSIWYG editor in
> RoboHelp. Everybody uses DreamWeaver or some other
> powerful HTML publishing tool instead."
> But nobody has seen fit to lay out a point-by-point
> comparison of the advantages and disadvantages.
> That's an absolute statement, and absolute statements should
> be ignored absolutely.

> Or, if you prefer my weaker
> hypothesis, be wary of absolute statements.

Well, as a newbie to Help authoring, when I poked my nose
into the Hatt list, I got an admonishment like the one
quoted above, from several people -- in the course of
addressing my actual question-of-the-moment. A couple
were on the list. Several were off-list.

> As someone else
> pointed out, don't know who/when, even if you author pages in
> DW, the moment you open and save them in RH, they've got the
> RH code, so there's really no point in using DW first,
> except, maybe, if someone is more familiar with DW, is more
> familiar with creating Web sites (as opposed to Web-Help), or
> just doesn't like RH. I would assume that the lack of
> point-by-point comparisons indicates that people are going on
> preference and not any real benefit of using one over the other.

That's my guess, but given that RH *does* have a built-in
WYSIWYG and that it's intimately tied to the features of
RH, I thought that surely there must be SOME advantage to
(nevertheless) creating the pages in DW or other favored
tool. Eliciting lists/descriptions of those advantages
has been like pulling teeth.

> Is DreamWeaver or GoLive (or any of the others) capable
> of selectively creating/publishing output based on
> conditional settings?
> For DW, the answer is no (as far as I can tell). You can, of
> course, do this with JavaScript that you've coded yourself.
> But as far as it being a "feature" of DW like it is in RH, I
> don't think so. You can, of course, create dynamic content
> from a database, but I don't think that's what you're talking about.

Well, not if you'd have to ship the database and a parsing
engine to each customer, along with the help (and it would
need to be, a-la-WebHelp, fully cross-platform).

> You have to understand that RH and DW are different tools
> with different purposes. RH is a help authoring tool. DW is a
> Web site authoring tool. Their features are geared towards
> those purposes.

Got that. But I thought maybe that RH had originally been
geared toward WinHelp and similar proprietary stuff, and
had later been given WebHelp capability to get out of
that ghetto. So, it would have been given capability
that already existed in Web-authoring tools.

>You could, of course, use RH to create a Web
> site, or use DW to create WebHelp, but you would have to do
> extra work to do it. But that extra work might be worth it
> depending on your work environment. I think i've said this
> before, but we switched from RH to DW because we are starting
> to use XML and we're changing how we're generating our help.
> In this scenario, DW made sense while RH didn't.

I'd be interested to know more about that. The reasoning
behind it, the advantages, the workflow/process as it
differs from just cranking out Help topics in RH.

> Would I use DW to create you're run-of-the-mill WebHelp?
> Nope. I'd use RH. Would I use RH to create you're
> run-of-the-mill Web site? Nope. I'd use DW. Now, I have been
> toying with the idea of "reimagining" my Web site as Web help
> generated with RH, but I haven't tried it yet. :-)

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