Re: Help Authoring Tools

Subject: Re: Help Authoring Tools
From: Roger A Tunsley <rtunsley -at- WORLD -dot- STD -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 1994 21:54:37 -0500

If it helps, I and a colleague in the U.K. coauthored a substantial help
system, containing several different interlinked files and using
context-sensitivity, before any of the help authoring tools became available
(as far as we know). We used WfW 2.0 and most of the functions available in
the help system such as secondary windows, adding buttons and macros,
extensive hypergraphics using the hotspot editor, and so on. Since then, we
have looked at several tools such as Robohelp but have dismissed them as
getting in the way of the maintainability of the files. They don't stop
maintenance, they just seem to hinder it. We have since translated these
files into five other languages and the ability to work directly in the RTF
source has been a positive blessing.

Don't let anyone tell you that manually producing and compiling help is
difficult, it is not. It takes a week or so to learn your way around the
basics, the more advanced stuff you can learn as you go along. Planning how
the help will eventually look and feel is more important and more difficult
than putting it together. FWIW.

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