Re: HTML Help Advisory

Subject: Re: HTML Help Advisory
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- GJCTECH -dot- FORCE9 -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 23:58:10 +0100

Keith Arnett wrote:

> The real problem is for those of who need a cross-platform, web-based
> help system *now.* We are in this situation, and I can tell you the
> choices are not good.
> Note: by cross-platform, I mean a set of help files that can be read
> on the local platform, and from a remote platform accessing the local
> files via a web browser and the internet (or an intranet). Bear in
> mind that you have *no* control whatsoever as to the web browser being
> used by the remote site.
> Therefore, you need to be able to deliver to the end user
> browser-independent HTML (for now) help files.
> This immediately rules out MS HTML Help (although a Java version is
> supposedly in development, but I'm not holding my breath).

There's no need to hold your breath; you can come up for air. I've used the
Java version of Ms HTML Help for several months. Visit and search around for
the latest version of the HTML Help Workshop (about two-thirds down the
page). Install this and then search its help for "Java Applet" -- that
should tell you all you want to know about deploying the Java-based version.
BTW, if you use CGI or ASP, you can also detect the browser and then feed
ActiveX to MSIE, Java to Netscape, and plain old HTML to anything else.<g>


Geoff Lane
Technical Author
GJC Technical Ltd.
geoff -at- gjctech -dot- force9 -dot- net

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