FW: Help - HTML and Winhelp - difference? tools?

Subject: FW: Help - HTML and Winhelp - difference? tools?
From: Kandis Weiner <kandisw -at- POSITRON -dot- QC -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 14:18:14 -0400

Greetings Folks!

I have been reading recent positings on HTML Help with interest, but it is
all a bit above me at this point because we are only now beginning to
investigate implementing online help for our various products. I am looking
for more info on various online help options (Winhelp vs. HTML help,
processes, tools) and hoping that ya'll can help me out. I have been
unsuccesful in my search for info in the archives (seems to be behaving
strangely). And help tools are not yet listed on the Techwr-l home page
Topic Summaries, so I apologize if this is rehashing a dead topic.

A bit of background:
Our software applications are developed for Win NT. There is a "main"
application, used by regular, untechnical folks, and several peripheral
applications that installers/administrators use to configure/manage the
whole "system". Our documentation is developed in Frame + SGML. Now that we
have more time and resources, we can finally begin to invest in online
help.

The Questions:

1. What is HTML help? How is it different from Winhelp? Do HTML help files
open in a browser window? Is a browser (IE) required to view these files?
It was my understanding that MS was implementing HTML help as a new
backbone for help files. Am I off base here? Does this mean that Winhelp is
being phased out?

2. We decided to look into HTML help because we develop our docs in Frame.
Converting from Frame to RTF to help seems like a rather lumpy process
(requiring at least 2 additional applications - a Frame to RTF converter
and then Word plus the Help tool) and we would just assume use as few
developmental tools as necessary. With Frame, we believe that we can save
our docs as HTML and then move (easily?) to HTML help to edit/change the
information to make it more appropriate for the online help format. What
processes do other Frame users use to convert docs to online help?

3. What are the people's preferred tools for HTML help use? RoboHTML?
ForeHTML? MS Help Workshop? Others?

I will post a summary to the list if there is interest.

Thanks muchly for your time and infinite wisdom!
Kandis Weiner
Technical Communicator - Systems Test and Communications
Positron Public Safety Systems Inc.
Montreal, Quebec Canada
514.345.2200 ext. 2869
mailto:kandisw -at- positron -dot- qc -dot- ca
http:\\www.positron911.com
Standard Disclaimer: My opinions are my own, but my brain is for rent.




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