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Subject:Java help options From:Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 6 Oct 1997 19:05:58 -0400
I've been asked by a non subscriber to post the following message:
First, many thanks to Lori Guillory for her very thorough summary of
July 31- she saved me untold time and grief by publishing her
on TECHWR-L in July. I have a question for the list. Please post
replies to the list directly, as I think many of us will be
First, some background:
I am developing an online help system for a Java application, and I
have a requirement that the help is context-sensitive. It seems
there is a library in Java called HotJava which provides interfaces
display HTML from an authoring program that writes out HTML, (such
Frame's new HoTaMaLe feature, Front Page, etc.), but to implement
context sensitive help using HotJava would be a significant
It seems, then, that I need a tool that provides the hooks for us
make simple calls that will bring up the appropriate help page from
within our Java application. Jelp is the only such tool I am aware
My question is 2-part:
1) To anyone's knowledge, might I be off-base on my conclusion that
using HTML help files will not allow context sensitivity without
siginificant development effort from the Java programmers? ForeHelp
the only vendor I've really quizzed about this, since we already
in-house licenses and expertise with that tool, and they claim
(contrary to the opinion of the Java programmer I've consulted)
HTML context-sensivity is supported by Java.
A side note: Sun's JavaHelp spec looks like a possible solution,
it's too far away for me (Q2, 1998).
2) Does anyone know of any tools similar to Jelp? Jelp was in beta,
Lori said in her summary, in July of this year, so I have doubts.
rather not be a tool pioneer, given the choice, when there are more
proven tools out there with legions of experienced tech writers
you who can give me advice. Also, Jelp uses RTF files, which I'd
rather avoid, especially if it forces me to use Word.
Thanks in advance for all and any advice you can provide on this.