Writing Help for a modular application

Subject: Writing Help for a modular application
From: bkane -at- ARTISOFT -dot- COM
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 16:02:56 MTN

I'm having trouble figuring out how to create a multiple-Help project
system for an application that has several modules that may or may not
all be installed -- and I really could use your assistance.

My company is developing software products whose installation programs
let the user decide which pieces he wants installed on his computer.
For example, someone might install just the server piece, just the
client piece, or both the client and server pieces, and a remote
monitoring feature, incoming calls, etc.

Here's the problem: When the user installs only certain pieces, we
would like the online Help NOT to include Help topics about the pieces
he chose NOT to install. Otherwise, the user might read about them,
try to find the features, get mad when he can't and call tech support.
(There's another reason we don't want every possible feature
documented in one single Help project: When we sell the product to OEM
partners, we sometimes don't sell them all the features. So we sure
don't want their customers reading about something that just doesn't
come with the package.)

The only way I've heard one can achieve this is by creating a
Master.cnt file. But this won't work for us UNLESS we plan never to
edit the files again, because every time you recompile you lose all
the custom coding that makes the Master.cnt work. We are constantly
editing and updating our Help files, so that's really an unacceptable
alternative -- especially when there are TWELVE separate Help projects
to link to the Master.cnt (!). We use RoboHELP 4.0.

Thanks in advance for any advice offered. Please let me know if
I've been unclear and I'll try again.

Beth Kane
bkane -at- artisoft -dot- com

Be merry today, for tomorrow ye may die

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