Re: HTML-Benefit?

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
( 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
to users.

* 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.

Janet Ruiz
Technical Communicator
These opinions are strictly my own and not my employer's.

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