Re: Two cool tricks for Web-based Help

Subject: Re: Two cool tricks for Web-based Help
From: John Garison <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 11:13:58 -0500

Not to sound too self-serving, but I've been doing this very thing since 2001 ... even did a Bleeding Edge presentation at the STC conference in Chicago on it.


We added another wrinkle shortly afterwards: What good is finding something in Help if you have problems finding it in the application? We had the developers write another function that did context-sensitive app loading - it would determine the help page name and then launch the corresponding application page. I got another Atta Boy from my boss for thinking up that one.

As for Rowena's question ... One possible solution is to bring up a "common" help page that describes the general function and then has links to the various possibilities shown in dynamic pages (surely that's a finite number).

John Garison

Geoff Hart wrote:


If your Web pages are ASP files, you'll be generating a series of Web pages with names like "file.asp". Rather than obsessing over map IDs and how to pass those along to the developers so as to make the help context-sensitive, you develop a standard naming convention: use the identical file name, but replace the .asp with .htm for the help file's name. Away goes any need for a map file and numerical map IDs! This approach is easy to extend: if the files produced by the developers end in .htm, you add a small tag to the help file name: thus, for page.htm, the Help file becomes page-h.htm or page-help.htm if you don't feel the need to be concise.


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Two cool tricks for Web-based Help: From: Geoff Hart

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