Re: Should we skip HTML?

Subject: Re: Should we skip HTML?
From: Andrew Plato <aplato -at- EASYSTREET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 07:31:07 -0800

Nearly everybody has a web browser on their computer. That is a fact.

Few people have Acrobat readers or the browser plug-ins. The market
penetration for Acrobat readers is quite small. Most users do not take the
time and frustration to load their Acrobat reader drivers. This is a fact.

That is why HTML help is better. Not to mention the fact that PDF files are
enormous when they contain a lot of graphics, while HTML files can be much
smaller and more modular. This is an opinion.

Acrobat technology has been perpetuated by Adobe-lovers for years. It is a
pretty neat technology, but the fact is that most people do not have the
Acrobat readers (or have the wrong versions). In the days before HTML and
web sites were popular, Acrobat was a good idea. Unfortunately, HTML is
winning the share of eyeballs.

Therefore, if you do PDF format only -- be prepared to loose eyeballs to
people who do not care to deal with the Acrobat reader stuff. When I
consult with clients I advise them to let go of the PDF dependence and go to
HTML on-line documentation. With the new HTML tools like FrontPage,
developing on-line HTML documentation is very easy.

Good luck
Andrew Plato
Owner / Principal Consultant
Anitian Technology Services

-----Original Message-----
From: Kristy Astry <KASTRY -at- cjds -dot- com>
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.techwr-l
Date: Monday, March 09, 1998 7:02 AM
Subject: Should we skip HTML?

>I am researching new avenues of doc delivery for our users. I've followed
>the discussions re PDF v. HTML on the lists, searched the archives on HTML,
>etc., but I haven't seen this issue addressed:
>Why not provide online help in our product and a PDF or PDF-like online
>manual from our web site and skip HTML help altogether? Can anyone give me
>good reasons to include HTML help in addition to the other two kinds of
>Some of our users want manuals, but the cost of producing and shipping hard
>copy and CDs is considered prohibitive, considering the continually
>interface of our new product. So they could go to our web site and download
>and print the (latest) manual. Other users are happy with online help, and
>we will continue to provide it (at least until WinHelp dies). Let's face
>we're still on Win95 and won't even upgrade to Office97 or Win98 until
>so we're not exactly on the bleeding edge of technology.
>And I'll repost my question about RoboHELP 5.5. Anyone using it who likes
>it, and in particular, the WebHelp feature? I've heard back from only one
>person. There's got to be more of you out there!!
>Kristy Lantz Astry
>Columbine JDS Systems, Inc.
>email: kastry -at- cjds -dot- com

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