Re: Should we skip HTML?

Subject: Re: Should we skip HTML?
From: Rinc Sergej <Sergej -dot- Rinc -at- SKB -dot- SI>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 10:18:00 +0100

> From: Kris Olberg[SMTP:kjolberg -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM]
>
> Avoid making a decision to use a particular media based on popularity.
> Base your decision on the needs of your users. If your users can
> handle different media equally well, then default to other criteria
> such as cost, ease of maintenance, technology risk (e.g., do you risk
> getting behind if you don't use HTML? or PDF?)
>
That's excatly an issue here - let users say what they want. But it's
fine to be prepared. We use WexTech's Documentation Studio for printed
manuals and automatically convert them to HLP, HTML and HTML Help (HTML
conversion has some quirks but we easily override them by changing
documents with ASCII/HTML change utility). So use a good tool which
supports many media.

For those who wish PDFs, we do print manuals (viewed in Doc-To-Help as
Manual only) via Acrobat printer driver to PDF files and that works
great. Although I think PDFs online are really just for those who need
to print the manual when you don't distribute paper manual to them (e.g.
they look the same on paper). This is nice for example CD-ROMs with demo
versions of software etc but we prefer HTML and this year HTML Help. The
latter will probably become mostly used (coming Windows 98 and NT 5.0
where it will be included) since Netscape presumabely doesn't develop
their NetHelp anymore and Sun is little late with their JavaHelp. Of
course, good authoring tools to ease manual and hypertext production
will remain ...

Sergej Rinc
Technical Director, Sinonim d.o.o.
fax/BBS +386 63 411 448
mailto:info -at- sinonim -dot- si
http://www.sinonim.si/index.html




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