RE: ANN: Microsoft update (WinHelp)

Subject: RE: ANN: Microsoft update (WinHelp)
From: "Paul Neshamkin" <pauln -at- helpauthors -dot- com>
To: "'Bill Swallow'" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 17:57:56 -0400


No, that's not right. HTML Help was originally designed as a local or
network Help system (a replacement for WinHelp). Uncompiled, it was even
designed for use on the web. The only HATT that took Microsoft at their word
(we were writing the book for MSDN, so we thought we knew what was up) was
WexTech, which could write a browser-based Help version using the hhctrl.ocx
and one for non-IE browsers using the Microsoft JavaApplet -- all part of
the original release of HTML Help. Now, of course, the use of hhctrl.ocx in
an uncompiled HTML page will not work.

Later versions of HTML Help were even supposed to have the ability to
transparently update compiled HTML Help topics from a web site, but this was
never implemented (along with a lot of other neat things like multiple
categories in Information Types).

IMHO, HTML Help never was finished, and has been degraded in its
functionality since the initial release.


Paul Neshamkin
pauln -at- helpauthors -dot- com

ComponentOne Doc-To-Help Certified Trainer and MVP
WexTech MVP, and Certified Trainer

The Paul Neshamkin Group

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+pauln=helpauthors -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+pauln=helpauthors -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Bill Swallow
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:58 PM
Subject: Re: ANN: Microsoft update (WinHelp)

> ... which (unless you reduce security with some Registry hacks) won't
> run unless loaded from a local disk, and any uncompiled HTML Help
> won't work with the content in a different frame to the TOC or index.
> Because most organisations are unhappy about compromising security,
> effectively this kills HTML Help for anything not installed on your
> computer.
> FWIW, I've now spent enough time (non-chargeable time) working round
> the problems that MS's sledgehammer approach to HTML Help security
> issues has caused to seriously affect my income, and I'm going hoarse
> from the times I've uttered, "<fe>Thanks, Bill</fe>!" :(

To be fair, HTML Help was designed as a locally deployed UA solution, not a
networked UA solution. Personally I'm quite happy to comply with its
original intent rather than face the security issues found if Windows wasn't
properly patched to disallow the hacking of CHMs in networked
implementations. And uncompiled solutions do still work in both networked
and local implementations. I'm not sure what you're seeing there, but it
might be due to using certain ActiveX controls.
Java and JavaScript-driven HTML-based uncompiled UA solutions work fine from
my experience, multi-pane or no.

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
Senior Member STC, TechValley Chapter


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Re: ANN: Microsoft update (WinHelp): From: Bill Swallow

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