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Subject:Re: HTML-Benefit? From:Janet Ruiz <JanetRuiz -at- AOL -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 6 Nov 1998 11:17:26 EST
I bring forth the most compelling reason of all reasons for
not using HTML-based help at this time: There are no standards to speak of!
That is not to say that HTML-based help should never ever be used; on the
it was suggested at the 45th STC conference, that help authors should be
to implement HTML-based help products by mid-1999.
We need to look at HTML solutions now, while we are develping
rtf-based help. There are also many companies that have embedded help that
that are deeply customized with an HTML-based solution. I saw some admirable
examples at the conference. And for those companies that want or have to embed
their help and who obviously have huge resources to invest in this, I say more
power to you!
Reasons not to use HTML-based help at this time:
* The user must have IE4 and 32 bit applications
* There are issues with navigational and window controls
(yea..like they're missing!) - Issues with sizing and positioning
* Context sensitive help involves developing embedded
help, which takes huge resources; it is not practical and
you must use programming languages such as C++ to develop it.
* The RTF-based Winhelp compiler is stable and reliable (keep using it!)
* There are already many stable and reliable authoring tools available
for creating rtf-based help.
* The look and feel of Windows rtf-based help is already very familiar
* The growth of the web comes from a different skill set
(graphic and prgramming skills), which is why online Help for the Web is
struggling to be conceived.
These opinions are strictly my own and not my employer's.