Re: I'm sticking with WinHelp (was Re: WinHelp on Vista - a useful link)
Right now the only option for desktop applications is HTML Help
Who told you that? There are a plethora of Help formats for desktop
and as far as I'm concerned, it's so seriously flawed that I'm avoiding it like
I'd really like to hear of these serious flaws.
WinHelp "just works"... it does everything I need and does it
quite nicely. If I were to switch to HTML Help, I'd be degrading the quality
of my documentation and wouldn't be able to guarantee that users would be
able to see it properly.
The quality of your documentation? Or the quality of your
implementation? There's a big difference between the two, and there
isn't a glaring gap in quality of implementation between HLP and CHM.
The gap in quality of implementation between HLP and CHM is that HLP allows me to easily create popup windows that can contain formatted text with embedded links and it also allows me to create topic windows that have non-scrolling regions that I believe are a benefit to the user.
IIRC, even now, many Microsoft products still embed
WinHelp calls because HTML Help doesn't do all of the things they need it to
do. So what are they going to do for those applications post-Vista??
They'll use Vista Help. ;-)
Well, I'm certainly not going to embrace this mythical format until I've had a chance to actually see it.
sure they're going to budget for a conversion project for every one of 'em.
I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that the installation packages for those
applications will include either an installation of the WinHelp engine or a
forced download and installation of it.
Are you talking Microsoft applications? I'll bet dollars to doughnuts
that MS Office applications and other business/developer tools made by
Microsoft will harness the latest and greatest in Help delivery from
Microsoft, as always.
If I have to kluge to add a download of the WinHelp engine to the
installation package, that's only one kluge...
Provided it's legal to do so. We haven't seen the legalese behind the
WinHelp viewer download yet.
I'd venture a guess that when Vista is released there'll be a great hue and cry about the need for the WinHelp engine.
if I switched to HTML Help,
I'd have to compromise many of my standards and adopt multiple kluges
(formatted popups with embedded links and non-scrolling regions).
formatted popups with embedded links and non-scrolling regions
Let's face it... Microsoft deprecated WinHelp and switched to HTML Help as
one of its justifications for embedding HTML rendering into the operating
system when they went all out to kick Netscape's keister. What they came up
with is a sad excuse for a documentation product but they did manage to kill
I'm not sure Ralph Walden would entirely agree with you there.
Can you suggest any other reason Microsoft might have had for HTML Help? I can't imagine you or anyone else would seriously suggest that it's superior in any way to WinHelp.
I haven't found any way that HTML Help adds value to my documentation
projects over WinHelp. I'm sticking with WinHelp.
That I'll give you - there's no added value in going with CHM *at this
point in time*. But, as I'd hinted at earlier, there are a plethora of
Help formats out there that you can use. I'm not going to list them ad
nauseum, as many of them are discussed every day on this and other
tech writing lists.
Sure there are other help formats but as of right now, I think the only serious contenders are WinHelp, HTML Help and the (currently vaporware) Vista Help.
I personally don't care whether people switch or not. I'm switching,
mainly to ease documentation maintenance moving forward. Had nothing
to do with Vista, really, as we started migrating back in 2002. But if
you're trying to present a compelling argument to the list on why not
to switch, I think you need to fill some holes.
The holes are in attempting to present a compelling argument to make a switch, not in presenting an argument NOT to switch. If it ain't broke, no need to fix it and the only argument anyone seems to be making that WinHelp is broke is that Microsoft says it's deprecated... but it may not be as deprecated as folks would like it to be.
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- Re: I'm sticking with WinHelp (was Re: WinHelp on Vista - a useful link), Bill Swallow
- RE: I'm sticking with WinHelp (was Re: WinHelp on Vista - a usefullink), Paul Neshamkin
I'm sticking with WinHelp (was Re: WinHelp on Vista - a useful link): From: Mike Starr
Re: I'm sticking with WinHelp (was Re: WinHelp on Vista - a useful link): From: Bill Swallow
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