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Subject:Re: HTML-based help From:"David M. Brown" <dmbrown -at- BROWN-INC -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 13 Nov 1998 10:54:50 -0800
Roy Anderson wrote:
> One oft-overlooked consideration when delivering online help via
> browsers is that current browsers permit your targeted audience to
> disable Java (Netscape and IE) and Active-X (IE) functions.
> ... some users are choosing to disable Java, Active-X, and cookies
> functionality to better insulate themselves from security concerns.
> If this is the case, key components of your Help deliverables may
> be undeliverable.
This is similar to the problem so many of us faced during the transition
to 32-bit Windows. Unless we could guarantee that readers would install
Win32s or third-party DLLs, we had to deliver help systems that could
function in a 16-bit environment.
Many of us included 3.x-style "Contents" topics for readers with the 3.x
help viewer, which doesn't read .cnt files. We also formed index
entries that were acceptable in the 3.x "Search" dialog box, which
doesn't display nested subentries.
In HTML-based help systems, the solution is much the same. If you can't
be sure your readers can--or will!--accept Java, ActiveX, plug-ins, or
other "extensions," you need to deliver TOCs and indexes as pages that
can be used by even the lowliest browsers.
What's more, you can only enhance your HTML documents by including such
elements even if you *are* relatively sure your audience has the latest
HTML Indexer specializes in creating "back of the book"-style indexes
for web sites, help systems, and any other HTML documents. It can
easily be used to "seed" a traditional table of contents, as well.
See the URL below for information about HTML Indexer. Better still,
download the demo, run the tutorial (from the Windows Start menu), and
see it for yourself.
David M. Brown - Brown Inc.
dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com