Re: desparately seeking java-based help

Subject: Re: desparately seeking java-based help
From: Bill Bledsoe <Bill -dot- Bledsoe -at- CMS-STL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 16:00:50 -0500


Just got back from Toronto and talked with the Sun folks there in the
Online SIG forum. They basically said it will be a while before you
will see ANYTHING public on JavaHelp. Joe Welinske did have some slides
from screen shots... and I believe has done a very beta-based review of
it on his site <>.

What I saw and heard from the Sun folks is very impressive sounding...
with the highlight being a instantaneous full-text search. But... Sun
has an internal issue as far as standards are concerned that they are
dealing with. You won't see any JavaHelp before this gets resolved.

And... I don't think you'll see any "JavaHelp Authoring Tools" for a
long time. 6 Months at least. In my experience, the Help Tool vendors
are about 6 months behind the bleeding edge... in getting product to
market that works.

Ruth Glaser wrote:
> I've spent the last hour searching Sun's java sites for information
> about their forthcoming
> java-based help solution. I couldn't find anything. Does anyone have a
> specific URL?
> BTW, is anyone else really irritated by NetHelp and HTML Help being
> represented
> as platform independent? Technically they are. However, they aren't
> *browser*
> independent. I find it amazing that java is fast becoming the
> programming environment
> of choice, primarily because it is platform and browser independenty,
> yet we
> technical communicators have no similar platform/browser independent
> development environment for online help. (Anyone else keeping their
> fingers crossed
> for java-based help development tools?)

I've got news for you: Java is not browser independent either. MSIE
does not fully support the latest JVM, and they are not exactly jumping
at the chance to do it either. NetHelp and the features they have are
the most browser independent... but you're right, nothing is completely
browser independent... even Java. This... is the greatest tragedy of
the browser wars... :-|

Bill Bledsoe
Senior Technical Writer - CMS
Bill -dot- Bledsoe -at- cms-stl -dot- com or intlidox -at- anet-stl -dot- com

"I'm out on a limb where the fun begins"
Adrian Belew/The Bears
If Bill Said it, Bill said it... Not CMS. Got it?

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