Re: Customizing Help

Subject: Re: Customizing Help
From: "David Castro" <thejavaguy -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Suzette Leeming" <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 10:49:30 -0500

On 11/20/06, Suzette Leeming <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

Using this type of help, how realistic is it to allow our customers to
go into the html files and customize the help and add their own
information to it? Has anyone ever done this?

While I haven't, myself, done this, I believe this would be feasible if you
got the buy-in for some development help. Assuming you have control over the
template that is used to generate your HTML files, you could conceivably add
a link from each topic to a user-created file (dynamically named at
compile-time). You'd need some nifty Javascript that would verify that the
target file existed, and would make the link disappear if the target did not
exist (hence the buy-in from the developers). You'd need to make sure that
the link in each HTML file didn't change from release to release, so the
customers wouldn't have to remap everything with each patch/release. You'd
probably also need to write up a document explaining not only how to figure
out what filename to use, but also providing them information about how to
work with the template file you'd give them (to make sure that the
user-created help conformed in appearance to the main documentation).

Now, if you're specifically talking about enabling customers to MODIFY your
existing documentation, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. But allowing
them to augment your documentation with their own topics shouldn't be too
big a deal.

-David Castro
thejavaguy -at- gmail -dot- com

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Customizing Help: From: Suzette Leeming

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