Re: Online help builders for unix

Subject: Re: Online help builders for unix
From: Chet Ensign <Chet_Ensign%LDS -at- NOTES -dot- WORLDCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 1995 13:51:29 EDT

Caryn,

>I am just curious. Are there any products available to develop
>online help in a unix environment, besides FrameBuilder?

FrameBuilder is not a help authoring tool. It was really intended to be Frame's
answer to SGML, until they finally got around to acknowleding that it doesn't
actually produce SGML. Now, as far as I know, they market it as a structured
authoring tool -- which it is and which it is pretty good at, albiet at too
pricey a cost for me.

I'm familiar with a product called Hyperhelp from Bristol Technology. (I think;
it has been a while, and since this is the 3rd time I've mentioned it to
someone, I'm going to try and track down the details on it.) It takes the same
RTF files used to create Windows help files and produces help files for
X-Windows.

Another approach is the Xhelp server approach that has been discussed in the
SGML community for a while. Basically, it provides a mechanism similar to the
one used in Windows, where an application passes a message requesting help to
an XServer which then passes the message to the appropriate XHelp server
(another program running on the system). The XHelp server then displays the
requested help in a pop-up window. I've seen this implemented using EBT's
DynaText and it can work quite well.

Hope this helps.

/chet

---
Chet Ensign Phone: (908) 771-9221
Director, Electronic Publishing Email: chet -at- lds -dot- com
Logical Design Solutions, Inc. Email(home): censign -at- interserv -dot- com
---


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