Re: HTML Help files?

Subject: Re: HTML Help files?
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 1996 10:31:00 EST

At 04:19 PM 10/31/96 -0800, you wrote:

>>As many of you know, both Microsoft and Netscape are currently developing
>HTML online help systems. I'm told that Microsoft's HTML Help supports Java
>and ActiveX, while Netscape's NetHelp supports only Java. They will probably
>not be compatible, and each company will be attempting to define the
>industry standard. Blue Sky have stated that they will be upgrading their
>Robohelp products asap to cover both the Microsoft and Netscape versions.
>Final versions of all these products were not yet available when I last
>checked; about 10 days ago.

A couple of small corrections here. First, while Explorer ostensibly
supports JavaScript, it won't do so perfectly in 3.0. Microsoft claims that
Explorer with work with both VBScript and JavaScript, but I've had
JavaScript glitch out on me in Explorer. Netscape will support both
JavaScript and VBScript in the next version, so we're told. Right now it's
only JavaScript. Neither Microsoft's version nor Netscape's rely on Java,
although both browsers can read Java. Microsoft's version will rely on a big
ActiveX control, making it much less platform-independent, but much quicker
to program.

Second, Blue Sky has released its support package, but its output is HTML 2
with "Netscape extensions" and "Microsoft extensions". I'm not sure why they
didn't tell you about this when you called. Unfortunately, no one, including
Microsoft, has released a fully working tool that's completely up to date,
because no one could know what "completely up to date" really means.
However, it would appear that Blue Sky is taking a very aggressive stance on
HTML Help and is intending to get way out ahead of the pack on this.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
FrameMaker support ForeHelp support
FrameMaker-to-HTML Conversions
HTML Help Consulting and Production

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