RE: Index/TOC Needed in HTML &/or Browser-Based Help?

Subject: RE: Index/TOC Needed in HTML &/or Browser-Based Help?
From: "Barbara Vega" <BarbaraV -at- libertyims -dot- com>
To: <mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 11:49:12 -0700

Kevin writes:

So, never mind Vista, if we go the way of search-engine-access-only,
which search engine would that be? Are the Madcap and AuthorIt people
(and others) going to provide their own? Do we sub-contract Google? Do
we go with something open-source (what's available that's any good, by
the way)?

Right now, I produce only WebHelp, using RH X5.
To do so, I use the RH interface and editor (stop that gagging, you!),
and I write from the hierarchical and ever-expanding ToC.

I thought of doing what the pros do, and getting a "real" HTML editor,
and using RH just for the ToC and other underpinnings... but if we are
to abandon those underpinnings, then I don't need a HATT at all, do I?

I just need a friendly html or XML editor to generate a ****load of
unrelated pages and then a search engine that I can


Excellent point. We discussed that as well. And Robohelp's search engine
is notoriously bad. I was told by a support person at Macromedia that
Robo lists its topics in the order in which they appear in the TOC and
not in the order of relevancy. If you don't believe me, please see the
support response pasted below.

I am not sure how good Flare's is because I am test-driving Flare's now.
We have discussed sub-contracting Google's and a home-grown solution,
like our developers aren't busy enough. But it is not as though we have
Microsoft's resources at our disposal.

It is beginning to sound like it is better to have the TOC and the index
there just because it is better to cover all bases for all types of
users. Just like when I was a teacher. In grad school, they taught you
to use all types of teaching/learning techniques, because you'd find you
would have all types of learners: visual, tactile, learners who like
lecture, learners who learn better cooperatively/working as a team, etc.
Hit them all and you will be more effective at covering them all. I
believe it will be the same with users. Have them all there - index,
toc, search, and you'll be more effective covering the variety of types
of users.

<snip> Support Ticket asking if we could prioritize search results based
on if the term was in the title of the topic, and their response (when
it was Macromedia):

-----Original Message-----
From: Support [mailto:support -at- macromedia -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 8:45 AM
To: Barbara Vega
Subject: Macromedia Product Support Ticket [8320809]

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for writing Macromedia Technical Support.

I understand that you need information on how to arrange the topics
shown in the search result list. The search results list is populated
based on how the topics are arranged in the table of contents. There are
no setting in RoboHelp HTML that will let you prioritize topics that
have the keyword it it's title. If you feel that there should be an
option like this in RoboHelp HTML, the best thing to do is to fill out
our feature request form at:


Best regards,

Jay Abania
Macromedia Technical Support

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