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"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. 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.
Is DreamWeaver or GoLive (or any of the others) capable
of selectively creating/publishing output based on
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. 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.
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. :-)