Time to integrate online help?

Subject: Time to integrate online help?
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 10:05:32 -0600

Jill Scudamore is <<starting to investigate the
possibilities of implementing on-line help and context
sensitive help. In order for my proposal to be accepted, I
need to provide an estimate of the amount of time that the
programmers will need to work with my files in order to
integrate them into the applications.>>

It depends mostly on what kind of bells and whistles you're
implementing in the help (e.g., multimedia elements may
take longer), but on the whole, it's about as painless and
fast as anything in the world of computing. Case in point:
I compiled my help file, automatically generated a file
with the context numbers, printed up the screen shots for
each screen, and explained which context number went with
which screen shot. The programmers went into the source
code, did a search to find the correct portion of the code
for that screen, and typed in the context number. They
recompiled the application, and bingo: context-sensitive

How long will this take? From what I saw, it took the
programmers less time to enter the context numbers and
recompile than it took me to generate them and print the
screen shots. Of course, they have nicer computers than I
do! YMMV.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

http://www.documentation.com/, or http://www.dejanews.com/

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