Re: GoLive vs. DreamWeaver

Subject: Re: GoLive vs. DreamWeaver
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: techwr-l
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 09:39:41 -0800

"Mailing List" <mlist -at- ca -dot- rainbow -dot- com> wrote in message
news:229148 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> Daniel_Hall -at- trendmicro -dot- com [mailto:Daniel_Hall -at- trendmicro -dot- com]
> > Yes!
> >
> > We can all hope that Macromedia, known for tools that create
> > clean HTML, will kill off the terrible psuedo-WYSIWYG editing
> > tools in Robohelp and implement something sensible. Until I
> > first worked with Robohelp, I thought that nothing could
> > screw up HTML as badly as FrontPage... but I was mistaken.
> >
> > BTW, using Robohelp to open "clean" HTML files created in
> > DreamWeaver automatically adds the "wonderful" Robohelp gunk
> > to the code. Yuck!

I have found that sometimes you can *open* a file within the RH editor, and
if closed without modifications being made, RH will decide it doesn't need
to "make it right." Sometimes.
> But why are many people using DreamWeaver as their HTML editor
> WITH RoboHelp? What's the point?
> If you need RoboHelp in order to create the ToC and Index and
> other navigation aids, then you have to bring the "clean" HTML
> into RH, don't you? Having done that, you now have gunked HTML.
> So, what have you gained by using DreamWeaver in the first
> place? We're assuming that you'll be using the same pages
> in several releases of a product, as well as (to some extent)
> in future products that branch from the current one), so
> it's not like it would be a one-way trip from DW to RH. You'd
> have to go back and forth many, many times over the life of
> a product and its WebHelp.

The simple answer: because you don't have to open the files in RH to create
a TOC or an index.

> If RH is NOT needed, then why not use DW exclusively?

Because DW is designed to do coding for web sites and web applications, not
HTML-based user assistance.

> I'm using just RH X4.1, because that's what I had when I
> started last autumn. The only license in the company for
> DreamWeaver is used by our design/web guy... and he's not
> leaving for at least another month. I'm angling to inherit
> his stuff, but I'm unclear on what I'll use DW for.
> I'll have (by then) more than 600 pages of Help, including
> two or three hundred conditional pages (meaning that RoboHelp
> looks at what condition I've requested and generates a Help
> set with or without tagged pages and content). I'm not clear
> on what I'll gain, at that point, by switching to DreamWeaver
> as my HTML handler/WYSIWYG editor.

You can create code snippets in DW and use them in Code View to create
conditional text within pages. You can then avoid opening the files in RH to
apply conditions there. If a condition is to be applied to a whole topic,
you do that through the topic's Properties dialog box, and don't have to
actually open the file in RH.

RH began as an add-on to Word to create binary Windows Help files. It was
essentially a bunch of DLLs and macros that created shortcuts to all the
coding that needed to be done to Word files for input to the WinHelp
compiler, plus a pretty doggone usable interface to make the setup and
configuration of a Help project easy.

That interface failed on many levels on the move to HTML-based Help systems.
Blue Sky/eHelp tried for a long time to force a UI that worked well with one
or a few Word source files to do the same things with hundreds of HTML
source files. The design of RoboHTML made working with all those files
easier, but the editor was the bane of experienced users.

I'd guess that there is hope within the Help development community that the
RH technology will be transformed into a DW extension, integrating into the
DW interface, giving us the best of both worlds.

Chuck Martin

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