Re: Two Questions

Subject: Re: Two Questions
From: Chuck Martin <cwmartin -at- US -dot- ORACLE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 14:27:06 -0800

Linda Castellani wrote:
> 1. I need to think about creating an on-line help system for a product
> that was developed in Java and uses a Web browser interface. I've
> developed Winhelp systems before, but I'm not clear at all about where to
> start with this one. Do I want a Java Help tool or an HTML tool?
A bit late, but, but I didn't see much of a response to this part....

Your best bet is probably to use one of the Java-based Help
technologies. The 2 leading candidates right now are Oracle Help for
Java (a free, released product from Oracle) and JavaHelp (a free,
pre-release product from Sun/Javasoft).

There are other, minor players in the field, such as Jelp, JHelp, and

About a year ago I wrote an article form the Online Help Journal
evaluating the then-available Java-based Help technologies and concluded
that Oracle Help was the most robust. (Disclaimer: at the time, I was
not working for Oracle, now was I applying to work there.)

Some major Help development tools have said they will directly support
JavaHelp output. With Oracle Help, there's no direct support, but you
can take the tools' output and run it through a Wizard to produce an
Oracle Help system.

"Online help should ignore first-time users and concentrate
on those people who are already successful using the
product, but who want to expand their horizons."
- Alan Cooper
"About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design"

Chuck Martin
Principal Technical Writer, Oracle Developer
Tools Division, Oracle Corporation


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