Re: Evaluation Process - HATs

Subject: Re: Evaluation Process - HATs
From: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 11:16:20 -0400

If you haven't heard about the HATT matrix, go check it out.
( You can do side by side comparisons of

I'm very much in the same boat as you are, needing to pick a tool
(we're using a home grown HATT). I've been at this new job all of a
week, but so far our requirements are pretty much in line with what
you listed. In my case, I've used both RoboHelp and Flare, so I've
got experience with both tools, and quite frankly, I loathe RoboHelp
and love Flare so much I've talked three different employers into
buying it.

Flare's Help is excellent, and includes topics for developers (as in,
here's how you hook up context sensitive help). I've never dealt with
Madcap support, never needed to. I love the MadCap forums, and can
often answer my own questions with a little research. I can tell you
that several years ago my RoboHelp installation randomly broke because
it didn't like my bluetooth settings. Why RoboHelp should even be
affected by my bluetooth settings is beyond me, but it took me days to
track down the solution.

The real deal breaker for me is that I have never been able to get
RoboHelp lists to do what I want. I don't have patience for tools
(Word, I'm looking at you!) where I have to waste time reformatting
numbered lists because they randomly renumber themselves, or can't
handle nesting However, I've been able to build templates in Flare
that make numbered lists (bullets inside numberd lists, nested
numbered lists, etc.) behave the way I want them to. Or at least as
close as I get get given the limits of HTML.

And looking towards the future, we will definately need to support
Help on mobile platforms at my company. From what I've been able to
tell, RoboHelp only suports ePub, while Flare supports iPhone, iPad,
Microsoft Mobile, Palm WebOS, Blackberry and Android.

Julie Stickler
Blogging about Agile and technical writing

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Evaluation Process - HATs: From: Matt Moore
Re: Evaluation Process - HATs: From: Bill Swallow

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