RE: Web help for dialog boxes

Subject: RE: Web help for dialog boxes
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Ken Stitzel <kstitzel -at- symplified -dot- com>, Tech Whirl <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 10:01:12 -0800

Ken Stitzel wrote:

> Here's a how-de-do*: I keep getting bugs from my QA department because
> our
> web help doesn't let someone open a help topic for a specific dialog
> box.
> (It's fine to open help topics for specific pages of our web
> applications,
> but not for dialogs opened from those web pages.
> As I understand it, however, web help plain and simple cannot do this
> (open
> help at the dialog level). Is this true? Am I wrong? Is there a
> specification where this is spelled out? I'd appreciate any pointers
> you
> have. It would help me get QA off my back! (They've got plenty of other
> reasons to jump on me, anyway. :)

You might want to give us more to go on. Like what you mean specifically by "web help," what HAT you're using, what kind of application the help is for (Flash/Flex, HTML5, etc.). Those kinds of details might elicit more specific and helpful responses (e.g., "my current project is just like that, and here's how I do it").

But as a general response, your understanding is almost certainly wrong. If the application can call a topic in the help from a page, it can call a topic in the help from a dialog box. It requires the same two things that the existing help calls from the pages require: (1) the developer must create the code that calls the help and tie it to a UI method (button, F1 key, etc.) for users to invoke, and (2) either you or the developer must map the help call for each dialog to the specific HTML page or anchor tag in the help system.

If you're unaware of how the help topics for pages are being invoked, it's time to spend some quality time with the appropriate developer(s). :-)

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom

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Web help for dialog boxes: From: Ken Stitzel

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