RE: Help systems

Subject: RE: Help systems
From: "Broberg, Mats" <mabr -at- flir -dot- se>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2006 08:51:38 +0100

Bill Swallow wrote:

> > We plan to build an application that transforms XML files to the
> > necessary topic files, project files, TOC files and index
> files that
> > are needed to compile help systems for our PC programs in 21
> > languages. We have looked into HTML Help at first, but the
> more we dig
> > the worse it seems to be with regards to language support.
> Home grown or for sale to authors? You know there are many
> apps that do this already, so you may be able to save the
> labor in favor of a small cash outlay...?

Home-grown to output manuals in help formats. We use an XML-based system
to create & maintain customer documentation. Seeing that we issue some
1,500 unique revisions of our manuals per year, we need a system that is
totally automated and integrated into our XML system. Basically a set of
XSL stylesheets, some Java scripts, an ImageMagick loop that subsets
resolution of images, plus the compiler for the help output formats.
That is why we don't look at COTS systems.

> What issues are you running into with HTML Help? Wel localize
> into nearly as many languages (19) without issue...

SE Asian languages too?

> > Does anyone have experience of creating JavaHelp or MS Help help
> > systems? Those two systems seem promising with regards to
> > internationalization and language support.
> What do you mean by "MS Help"? As for JavaHelp, its language
> support is pretty much in line with HTML Help.

MS Help 2.X is one of Microsoft's help formats - one of the latest, I

The predecessor was HTML Help and the predecessor of that was WinHelp.
Many of the files (TOC, index, project file) in MS Help are XML files,
while they are plain text files in HTML Help. So I do believe that it
would be easier to output MS Help from an XMl system than HTML Help. But
I may be wrong, ofcourse.

Best regards,
Mats Broberg
Technical Documentation Manager

Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Help systems
Next by Author: RE: Help systems
Previous by Thread: Help systems
Next by Thread: Re: Help systems

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads