Re: desperately seeking java-based help

Subject: Re: desperately seeking java-based help
From: Mary McCauley-Stiff <Mary_McCauley-Stiff -at- STRATUS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 18:38:49 -0400

Ruth Gordon writes... (a now immortal quote)

>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.

But David Blyth writes:

> I disagree. [snip] That is, any environment which can build a Java >
program can build an on-line HTML help document - if you're willing to >
> The alternative appears to be to increase our technical skills. It >
does not look like Netscape or Microsoft are going to provide us >
solutions. We need to provide our own.

Just to preface - I'm working on online help for a Java app.

I agree that Microsoft and Netscape are not providing the solutions we
need. However, if we provide our own solutions, it seems like we would
be reinventing the wheel, over and over again, every time we created an
online help system for a Java applet or application.

I think what Ruth is looking for (as am I) is something similar to
RoboHelp or Doc-To-Help that gives you the *tools* for building an
online help system suitable for Java apps. Yes, I know HTML is available
and we can use HTML editors and Web site managers to create/manage the
HTML, but right now, the solution seems a little kludgey. (Or maybe we
have been spoiled from being spoon-fed authoring tools in the past!)

It's possible I misinterpreted "provide our own" solutions and have gone
off the deep end here. If I did, I apologize! It just freaks me out to
think of everyone splintering off with their own help solution. Users
having to learn to navigate differently for every Java app they
just sounds messy. Or maybe I'm just too used to vanilla-winhelp.

Mary McCauley-Stiff

mary_mccauley-stiff -at- stratus -dot- com

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: Re: desperately seeking java-based help LONG
Next by Author: Re: half day interview -Reply
Previous by Thread: Looking for Microsoft diskettes
Next by Thread: author, the verb part 2

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads