RE: Is RoboHelp still a viable way to go for help?

Subject: RE: Is RoboHelp still a viable way to go for help?
From: "Char James-Tanny" <charjt -at- helpstuff -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 12:27:24 -0400

> Will RH only really stop being competitive (in terms of
> functionality) if it fails to support MS Vista when it
> emerges, blinking, into the sun?

It David Knopf says in another message, browser changes could
also have an impact. (The WebHelp files that RoboHelp produces are loaded
with browser-sniffing JavaScript. As Mike O. says in another message, it
should be possible to do some post-production stuff so that the files
work...but that case depends on whether the author really wants to go
through it, and if it's even possible to make changes that work.)

Also, when Microsoft updates Office, it will affect RoboHelp Office
(specifically, RoboHelp for Word) installations. RoboHelp for Word has been
hard-coded to only work with specific versions of Word. Users who want to
upgrade Office will have to keep the old version around if they want to
continue using RoboHelp. (And, no, I don't have any idea what the
ramifications of that are.)

In the specific case of Vista, it will depend on what the Help author's
company needs...if they don't plan on supporting Vista or producing Vista
Help, then there's no problem.

> Isn't it odd that Macromedia would throw away, as is being
> suggested, the brand? I don't know how many times I've seen
> RH described as the "de facto" HATT, and even "non-technical"
> technical writers saying that they're "doing their
> documentation in RoboHelp" without really understanding what
> a CHM is or what it's made of (which is a Good Thing or a Bad
> Thing, depending on your point of view).

One of the things that has happened here many times is that someone calls
wanting a "RoboHelp Help file." :-)

It's long been assumed that Macromedia purchased eHelp for the Flash-based
components. In that regard, it's not odd (nor surprising) that Macromedia
doesn't care about RoboHelp. (MM has already dropped many RoboHelp products,
and has transformed others, such as RoboDemo, which is now Captivate.)

Char James-Tanny ~ JTF Associates, Inc. ~
Please send follow-up questions to the list.
Contact me directly with business inquiries or comments.
2004-2005 Microsoft Help MVP ~ MSHelpWiki
AuthorIT Certified Consultant, Development, and Training
Moderator, HATT and MSHelp2
STC Online Information SIG: Online Help Lead
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Re: Is RoboHelp still a viable way to go for help?: From: John Cornellier

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