Re: Windows Help Demise

Subject: Re: Windows Help Demise
From: Bill Bledsoe <bill -at- ENVISION -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 10:24:08 -0600


This subject came up on the list a few weeks ago when it was announced at
the WinWriters conference in Seattle. Actually, instead of SGML, they plan
to use a MS-ed version of HTML. And, they planned to support RTF as well
(which is what WinHelp files are constructed from now).

Officially, and you needed your detective cap on to notice this, Microsoft
has NEVER SUPPORTED WinHelp. It is offered as an "as is" utility. This
means you are not supposed to be able to receive any support for WinHelp
officially from MS. Now, they have produced some shareware products for
WinHelp developers (HULK, etc.) but those products are carefully labeled
shareware, i.e. not supported by Microsoft.

This HTML-based WinHelp will not be an available feature until Windows 96
or whatever the next upgrade for Windows is called (I don't believe WinNT 4
will support this new help engine either). Therefore, I don't think
WinHelp as we know it will disappear completely. After all, look at how
many machines out there are not running Win95 yet. There continues to be a
lot of demand for Win 3.1x help files now, and probably for a couple more
years (until everyone makes the leap to Win 9xx).

Just my $.02 worth...

Bill Bledsoe "Junk moved on line is still junk.
You can
Documentation Specialist bet that if they didn't read the printed
Envision version, they won't read the
online version
bill -at- envision -dot- com either." Dr. Conrad Gottfredson,
or documentation guru-guy
intlidocs -at- mo -dot- net

From: Linda Oestreich[SMTP:linda -at- gxt -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 1996 9:16 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L
Subject: Windows Help Demise


I attended a workshop on On-line Documentation given by JoAnn Hackos
a few weeks ago. At that time, she announced that Microsoft had
announced it would no longer support WinHelp.

MS planned to begin some sort of help system that would use SGML.

I may have the details garbled, but I know the main idea is correct--
WinHelp is going away.

Are any of you aware of this news? It seems that so much traffic is
generated by WinHelp discussion on this list, that someone would be
a little concerned about what was to come.

Just a curiosity on my part...I work in the Unix/Mac world and have not
had the pleasure of using MS products. Nonetheless, I thought I'd
raise the flag and see what those of you in that world knew of the
upcoming change...

Best to all!

Linda Oestreich
Manager, Corporate Communications
GX Technology
Houston, TX
linda -at- gxt -dot- com
v: 713/789-7250

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