RE: Hosted Applications - Documentation and Help Systems

Subject: RE: Hosted Applications - Documentation and Help Systems
From: "Techwhirl Reader" <techwhirl -at- mail -dot- technicalcommunication -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 08:16:24 PST

Hello again,

I've been getting messages on this string I started asking me to clarify some more.

Well, HTML Help and WebHelp are all great technologies for delivering some sort of help system for hosted applications. In there future, there may well be continuing use for these technologies, assuming that the application uses technologies that are currently widespread, tried, and true.

But what if the hosted app is sitting on a C++, Java, and XML object-oriented back end? There are potential methods here were the documentation could be linked directly to the system without having to create tedious traditional-help system related topics, links, indeces, etc... The possibilities are endless.

But at the most, as I currently see it, XML could only be capitalized upon for individual field level reference help.

Then I start to wonder about concepts and procedures. Maybe even interactive help systems like the Office Assistant (but not so OBNOXIOUS).

The company I will be working for shortly consists of some really next-generation stuff, where there is no opportunity for thinking inside the box. The box must be broken.

Imagine a world of non-proprietary, browser independent help systems, where not only do you have context sensitivity created not by some 3rd party application, but by the very nature of your document itself (XML), but you also can embed interactivity using advanced XSL event functionality, etc. etc. etc. and whatever else you can come up with.

Now that the box is broken, what are your ideas? What would be the help system of the future? This is what I need to shoot for.

Idealistic at best, but very very plausible in my near future.

Thanksabunch,

Imran Zaidi
imran -at- technicalcommunication -dot- com




-----Original Message-----
From: Techwhirl Reader
Subject: Hosted Applications - Documentation and Help Systems


Hello all,

I am wondering if anyone out there is working in the world of hosted applications. You know, the kind that are delivered on the web through a browser rather than on a CD shipped to clients.

This may be a massive new trend as Application Service Providors (ASPs) become more the norm.

Software as a service rather than a product.

My question is, anyone working on such a thing out there, and how are you handling it, what are you experiencing, etc. when developing help systems for it, or documenting it in general?

Thanks!

Imran Zaidi
imran -at- technicalcommunication -dot- com
http://www.technicalcommunication.com







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