Thanks/summary Re: HTML Help Advisory

Subject: Thanks/summary Re: HTML Help Advisory
From: Keith Arnett <keith_arnett -at- RESTON -dot- OMD -dot- STERLING -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 10:39:04 -0500

The awesome power of TECHWR-L!

It has the ability to attract your question and provide answers even
if you intended to post to a different list! :-)

Late last Friday, I intended to post a response to the FrameUsers list
on the topic "HTML Help Advisory." In my end of week delirium, I sent
it instead to TECHWR-L.

I figured this out this morning when my mailbox contained several
extremely informative replies from fellow techwr-lers, who responded
in the usual helpful manner despite my posting from outer space.

For those who are wondering, my original post concerned:

1. the need for browser independent HTML help files
2. the apparent abandonment of NetHelp by Netscape
3. the non-availablity of a Java version of MS HTML Help
4. the availability of Blue Sky's WebHelp as the apparent sole
remaining alternative
5. the appearance that WebHelp required RTF/Word/RoboHelp to prepare
files, a disadvantage for FrameMaker users.

The Responses:

Chris Eckert of Blue Sky Software wrote:

The next version of RoboHTML (version 2.0) will be shipping in the
next 2 weeks and will support WebHelp, a cross platform, browser
independent, HTML based help format. RoboHTML does not use MS Word or
RTF files. You can use an existing Frame->HTML export tools to convert
to HTML or HTML help. You can then import this into RoboHTML and
generate WebHelp output.

You can see an example of a WebHelp Help system at

A 30 day trial version of RoboHTML 2.0 will be available from our web
site ( when the product is released (on or
before the week of 5/18/98). If you have additional questions, please
contact Blue Sky Software at 1.800.793.0364 or email:
questions -at- blue-sky -dot- com -dot-

Chris Eckert


Geoff Lane wrote:

... 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


Cees Hesp wrote:

A new player on the block is HTM-S, the HyperText Management System.
It builds both plain HTML- and HTML Help-based documentation from
collections of information topics stored in an MS Access database.

HTM-S works with any HTML editor, and any browser. For optimum
results, support for Cascading Style Sheets is required (meaning
versions 4 or higher of IE or NN).

For paper manuals, you can output your publication (i.e. a set o
topics) to a single file, which you can then further process in your
favorite word processor or page layout program.

For more information, see:

A 30-day trial version is available from:

Cees Hesp
CHIP Info productions


Suzy Davis wrote:

There is a download beta version of Java Help (developed by Sun and
various partners) available at this address:


Thanks to one and all!

Keith Arnett
Technical Writer
Sterling Software, Inc./Operations Management Division
Reston VA USA

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