Re: Cross-platform on-line documentation

Subject: Re: Cross-platform on-line documentation
From: Sue Heim <sue -at- RIS -dot- RISINC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 09:15:07 PST

Andrew Gilling asked:
> AG> Can anybody suggest how I might go about producing on-line
> AG> documentation for
> AG> both Windows programmers and Macintosh programmers, preferably
> AG> from a single source?

And Alexander Von_obert responded with:
> Microsoft has (had?) a simple solution for their own products: They
> made a
> Winhelp viewer for Mac. If you have MS-Word for Mac or so, you
> should be able to use Winhelp with hardly any changes.

This is only true if you are not cross-compiling WinHelp 4 files over
to the Macintosh. Believe me, I just went thru this! There are a
couple of solutions, some of which are more "do-able" than others:

1. Don't use WinHelp 4 features. Compile using WinHelp 3.1 compiler,
and then you can use the viewer on the Macintosh to view the MS help
2. Maintain two separate files, one for Windows and one for the Mac.

3. Buy a third party cross-compiler that was designed to include
WinHelp 4 stuff. Altura Software's QuickHelp is one of the best (and,
no I don't work there, but yes, I did just buy it). I just ran a test
on my WinHelp file and it compiled with no significant errors on the
Mac side (I still need to figure out how to get a contents tab and
how to get JUMPID to work correctly).

Obviously, there is not much choice here... sigh...

> BTW: Rumors are that Microsoft will switch over to HTML and drop
> Winhelp
> alltogether.

Not a rumor, a fact... just waiting now to see what it will look

Sue Heim
Research Information Systems
Carlsbad, California USA
Email: Sue -at- ris -dot- risinc -dot- com

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