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Re: Online Help

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From: "Spreadbury, David C." <David.Spreadbury@marconi.com>
> We produce our docs with FrameMaker7 (structured) on Windows NT. The
> applications are ported to both Windows NT and Windows 2000, as well as UNIX
> (specifically Solaris). Is there one online help package that can be used to
> target both end operating systems, Windows and Solaris?
> I know mif2go, RoboHelp, and WebWorks will work fine on Windows. My sticky
> point is the Solaris side.

If I interpret you correctly, it's the applications, and thereby the
associated online help systems, that needs to run on all platforms.
The tool used to create the online help files does not need to run on
all platforms. If that's correct, you should concentrate on deciding
upon a suitable online help format, and then select a tool (that may
run on Windows only).

Microsoft's HTML Help format (*.chm) needs Internet Explorer. Even
though there are versions of Internet Explorer that run on UNIX, I
doubt you will get a fully functional HTML Help system to work
(although I have no experience of this).
You should look at creating a browser-independent HTML-based help,
that use a combination of HTML frames and JavaScript to create an
interface that looks and works like Microsoft's WinHelp or HTML Help.
WebWorks Publisher (Pro) and RoboHelp can create their own version of
this, called WebWorks Help and WebHelp if I'm not mistaken.

You could also create a traditional WinHelp system, which doesn't
use a web browser for display. On UNIX, you use an application
called Bristol HyperHelp to display the WinHelp files.
See http://www.bristol.com/hyperhelp/
If I'm not mistaken, this is the route taken for FrameMaker's own
online help on UNIX (once Adobe stopped delivering an online help
system in FM format).

One good web resource is http://www.knopf.com/resources/index.html
but it doesn't list mif2go or Bristol HyperHelp.

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Thomas Michanek, FrameMaker/UNIX/MIF expert
Technical Writer, Uppsala, Sweden
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