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Subject:What do you want from help? (clarification) From:Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Wed, 20 Apr 2005 10:51:37 -0400
Bill Swallow asked for clarification about my comment that "I've yet to
see an HTMLHelp implementation that was as easy to use and as effective
as classic WinHelp." <<Can you elaborate on what criteria you are using
to qualify "easy to use"? I'd just like to know where you're coming
Purely personal prejudice, since I have no usability statistics
whatsoever to back me up on this one. I simply find it more difficult
to work with the most common style of HTML Help, with a scrolling
alphabetical index on the left and content on the right. I find the
indexes much less useful and more difficult to use too.
It's been a couple years since I've worked extensively on a PC, so I'm
afraid I can't be much more specific--but I have a clear memory of
opening my first HTML Help files on the PC back in (2003?) and being
not just unimpressed, but actively turned off. Even allowing for the
learning curve and for middle-aged reluctance to change, I still found
the navigation and usability markedly inferior to the previous WinHelp
files from the same software developer.
However, unless there's broad agreement from other techwhirlers,
consider this specific objection withdrawn: it's anecdotal and highly
subjective, and thus not easy for me to defend. I'd have to dust off
the old PC, and do some spelunking to find HTML Help files so I could
do a more extensive and objective comparison with WinHelp.
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