Web browsers for on-line doc viewing

Subject: Web browsers for on-line doc viewing
From: Fred Wersan <wersan -at- ZEUS -dot- MA30 -dot- BULL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 1994 13:45:31 EST

Discussions about Mosaic or its brethren as on-line doc viewers tend to break
down into three issues:

1. User access to the internet. (slow modems)
2. User access to Web browsers (how do they get Mosaic, etc.)
3. Authoring tools and mechanics.

Number one is important only if you plan to have users use the internet to
get to the documentation. While this is one way to deliver files, and a handy
one at that, it is not the only way to use web browsers. You can simply use the
browser as an engine for viewing delivered documentation, like help.exe does
for MS-Windows.

If you plan to deliver on-line doc with the product, #1 doesn't matter.
It is no different than delivering a .hlp file. The advan-
tage of using HTML (read with a browser) is that you can create one text file
that is deliverable to PCs, Macs, and Unix. (you may need to tinker with the
pathnames for connections, but this can probably be automated.)

If the benefits of cross platform help files are great enough to the developers
(probably determined by comparative costs) then 2 and 3 will probably be
worked out as needed.

Fred Wersan fwersan -at- peritus -dot- com
Peritus Software Services, MA30/807
300 Concord Rd., Billerica, MA 01821

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