Re: Software Choice for On-line Help?

Subject: Re: Software Choice for On-line Help?
From: Mike Starr <mike -dot- starr -at- PLATINUM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 10:54:14 -0600

When you say on-line help, what exactly do you mean?? Is the financial trading
system going to be a standalone application installed on the user's NT system
or is it going to be a client/server application using a browser (IE or NS) as
the client? This is the first decision point. If the financial trading system
is going to be a standalone application installed on the user's NT system,
then your choices are all Microsoft: WinHelp or HTML Help. If it's going to be
a client/server application using a browser (IE or NS) as the client, then it
would probably be necessary to create online help as pure HTML.

Having made that determination, you must then examine your options as to what
authoring tool you want to use to create this documentation. If you're
creating WinHelp, then you can use:
Microsoft HDK
Forehelp
Robohelp
Doc-to-help
or any of a great number of other minor players in the field.

If you're creating HTML Help, then you can use:
Microsoft HTMLHelp Authoring Kit (I may have the name wrong, but I'm sure
someone'll correct me)
ForeHelp
Robohelp (may need to be the Robohelp office package; I'm not exactly sure)
Others that I'm not aware of

If you're creating regular HTML, then there are a host of packages available
for the creation of web pages. I don't know about Robohelp, but I do know that
ForeHelp allows you to create regular HTML, also.

If you're creating online help for a standalone application installed on the
user's NT system, then I'd probably recommend that you use good ol' WinHelp;
HTMLHelp isn't (IMHO) ready for prime time.

There's my perspective on it.

Mike

You write:
I've been asked to research software possibilities for writing an on-line
help for a financial trading system (viewed from within a IE 4 or Netscape 4
browser) on an NT.

What's the product of the moment? The Microsoft choice? WinHelp, RoboHelp,
Microsoft HTML Help? Has anyone experience or knowledge to share?


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