Re: RoboHelp or WebWorks ePublisher for Word 2000 and FrameMaker 6?
The UI is definitely different. It has a more IDE feel to it, which is
where a lot of HATs are going, getting away from the "document as Help
source" mentality. The outputs are not substantially different. A CHM
is a CHM is a CHM.
Indeed a CHM may be a CHM, but take a look at what folks are accustomed to with WebHelp. Now compare the RoboHelp WebHelp output to the new "Accordian view" that Flare puts forth. These are definitely not the same. I'm not sure about merging. I don't believe it's currently possible with either output. However, I could be wrong about the .CHM format. Maybe Flare can merge .CHM files.
Out of curiosity, what exactly is a "Document as Help source" mentality? Are you referring to using Word documents? While I certainly don't like using them personally, I do know that many places have tons of documents in Word format. So I do see the value of being able to work with this document type. Or are you instead referring to the "Document as Help source" mentality as being one where you work on your HTML pages as you do in any visual editor. Viewing the page pretty much as your end user will see it and not as some abstracted XML data that will be rendered later? If this is the case, why is that a bad thing?
As do I. I began using RH in 1996, and used Doc-to-Help at the same
time. Both tools had very different workflows, but that didn't mean
they were difficult to learn to use. They were just different. I then
began to use Dreamweaver, FrontPage, and NetObjects Fusion to do HTML
editing, all of which had a very different UI. In 1998 I began to
author in FrameMaker, and used RH, then Mif2Go, then WWP to create
online Help. All these tools are different, but that didn't make them
difficult to learn or use. I've used Flare as well, and yes, it's
different, but in my opinion it wasn't difficult to learn.
I didn't say it was difficult to learn. What I said (or, more accurately, meant to imply) was that if one was accustomed to RoboHelp's UI, moving to Flare isn't as easy as dropping one and picking up the other. Don't expect to seamlessly walk into a productive mode right away. Actually, I tried to imply that it is probably easier to use if one has never seen RoboHelp. ;)
RoboHelp and Captivate (aka RoboDemo) are like apples and oranges in
this regard. eHelp was purchased by Macromedia mainly for RoboDemo,
which was extremely quickly renamed and launched as Captivate.
Meanwhile, RoboHelp was virtually liquidated of resources by
Macromedia and was put on hold. Now Adobe owns Macromedia, and no
formal announcement has yet been made with regard to RoboHelp. True,
there was an announcement from WritersUA as prepared by Adobe:
"February 23, 2006 -- Adobe Systems is pleased to announce its
participation at the WritersUA Conference for Software User Assistance
in Palm Springs, April 10-12. Several Adobe representatives will be on
hand demonstrating the Adobe products of interest to the user
assistance community. In addition to FrameMaker, the Adobe exhibition
booth will feature RoboHelp and Captivate. Stop by to see the latest
demos and to discuss the current capabilities and future directions
for these important products. Adobe is also pleased to be sponsoring
the WritersUA Conference Reception on Monday evening, April 10."
While it's true that Macromedia was very quiet as far as RoboHelp was concerned, I see that Adobe wants to: "discuss the current capabilities and future directions for these important products". Coupled with the simple fact that Adobe is actually planning on an appearance at the event, this in and of itself seems to speak favorably for the future of both products.
I personally am not vested in RoboHelp's life or death, but I will say
that I will believe further development when I see it. Adobe has some
big issues to resolve with it. The code base is like FrameMaker's -
old, different, and unfamiliar to Adobe development. Plus, I'd be
interested how Adobe's support for RoboHelp will be handled, given
Adobe has a business agreement to package WebWorks Publisher Standard
I guess we'll have to wait until April 10 to find out what the plan is.
I guess we will. ;)
My bottom line is that I'm in no way attempting to sway users one way or the other. I think Flare is a terrific product and I do wish them all the best with it. But RoboHelp it certainly isn't. And a great many folks will step into it with the expectation that it operates, looks and feels very similar to RoboHelp. It doesn't. I think the fact that Flare was developed by all the former RoboHelp developers tends to lead folks to this conclusion or expectation.
I'm sure there are many underlying technical reasons it looks and behaves as it does and we will never know the true extent of why certain things are as they are. I just feel folks should be prepared for a rather dramatic shift in look, feel and work habits if they are moving in that direction. Heck, I still encounter folks in my RoboHelp HTML classes that are totally clueless of Style Sheets and why they might benefit from using them.
I suppose I too support Char James-Tanny for STC Secretary or whatever undertaking she chooses. Char is a great lady. Why is it that everyone is sporting that sig line these days? Is it a voting system?
WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!. http://www.webworks.com/techwr-l
Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at http://www.componentone.com/TECHWRL/DocToHelp2005
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RoboHelp or WebWorks ePublisher for Word 2000 and FrameMaker 6?: From: Nandini G
Re: RoboHelp or WebWorks ePublisher for Word 2000 and FrameMaker 6?: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: RoboHelp or WebWorks ePublisher for Word 2000 and FrameMaker 6?: From: Rick Stone
Re: RoboHelp or WebWorks ePublisher for Word 2000 and FrameMaker 6?: From: Bill Swallow
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