There’s a number of topics in the help about calling webhelp (and on Peter Grainge’s site too – see www.grainge.org<http://www.grainge.org>); but I’m not at all sure how you go about it from within an AIR app.
Thanks for sharing the links to the other messages; I've passed them on to my developer to see what he can figure out.
We spent a lot of time working on it today--figuring out how to get help embedded in an app developed with Air--and here's some of the major issues that have cropped up:
1. Using the browser-based Air help: I handed my guy the output files, and he put them into the app. When you hit the help button written into the AIr app, the help launches as a Flash app and looks good. There is a TOC and the search feature works. The problem is that the default topic won't display; the help opens with the topic pane blank (all other areas of the help seem to work just fine). Note: All aspects of the output work fine in local browers, but not Firefox, where I built the files.
2. Using the Webhelp: I handed my guy the output files, and he put them into the app. When you hit the help button written into the Air app, the help launches as Webhelp, and the default topic shows, but there is no TOC in the TOC pane.
3. Tried to launch an Air help app from the help button written into the Air app: Did not work and we went home for the day. (I didn't think this would work anyway.)
I feel like these problems are unique to the Air app, but yet I can't help but think that this shouldn't be so difficult. I believe we can get the separate Air help app to launch fine, but having a separate installer for the help is just something I'm hesitant to want to do. I really want the help to come out of the software, as it should. I realize this is a rhetorical exaggeration, but if the user needs to install and open a separate help tool, why wouldn't she just use the pdf already provided?
Any help or experience notes would be greatly (greatly) appreciated.
As far as installation is concerned, if your app is written in AIR, then you’re already installing the AIR runtime on the client’s machine – installing the AIR Help after that would be simple; the same installer that the app uses would install the .air file for the help too – the user never knows that the installer has installed 2 things instead of just one.
Thanks for responding on a holiday. (I'm a contractor so can't afford to stop working .)
About the Air Help installer: So the installer installs both the AIr Help and the Air app--but after the installation is it possible to open the Air Help via the "help button" in the Air app?
Holiday was Monday for me ;>)
JS is enabled in the browser you use – WebHelp and AIR Help are the same in that respect; they both use JS to bring up the topics and do searches, etc.
If your app is AIR based, then the developer’s installer is going to first check to see if the workstation has the AIR runtime installed (a lot of machines already do); if it doesn’t, then it will try to install it first – it’s a freely licensed installer that you get from Adobe (you have to apply to them to redistribute it). Once the runtime is confirmed, then their AIR app will be installed; after that, the AIR Help gets installed. Launching the AIR Help in a context sensitive manner is dependent on the CSH call that the app makes to the help – there are a bunch of ways that can be done depending on what the developer wants to use. See CSH topics in the RH Help guide and “Calling Context Sensitive Help” on Peter Grainge’s website (www.grainge.org<http://www.grainge.org>) or Willam van Weelden’s site (www.wvanweelden.eu).
Thanks again, Jeff.
I'm not necessarily trying to call CSH so much as just having the help launch when the help button is clicked. I just saw a thread that may provide the code snippet we need to launch Air help from an Air app...so, fingers crossed. (This all started because the developer had put a help button on the Air app that didn't do anything, and I took it upon myself to write help for the app.)
“…having the help launch when the help button is clicked.” IS a form of CSH – you’re just not calling a specific page within the help, just the main start page of the help file itself.
As soon as I posted, I knew you were going to say that. Cheers!
Thanks again for the help, Jeff.
We got the Flex Air app to launch the browser-based Air help, but the default topic will not display when the help launches; the content pane where the topic would be is blank. You can click on the topic that is the default topic, but I don't like having help launch without the default topic displayed. This happens when the Air help is launched from the Flex app and when it's launched locally on my desktop.
I've tried to open the default topic with a Map ID and that doesn't help either.
All of this is done with Firefox.
If I open the index.htm in Chrome or IE, the default topic will display, but the search won't work. (The search does work in Firefox though.)
I have my SSL settings as follows:
The Start page is set with the default "index.htm" setting in the SSL
The default topic is set to the topic I want to be the default.
I'm not sure I am following what you have done.
The thread started with a post about an AIR app calling AIR help and now you refer to a Flex app.
You have an installed AIR app and are calling browser based AIR help. Correct?
Your post shows the path to that browser based AIR help calling it from a local drive. Browser based AIR help will only work from a web server.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
Sorry for the confusion, Peter. We were trying to call the browser-based Air help through the Flex app and were getting the scenarios I mentioned in my last post. (I apologize for not recognizing that a Flex app and an Air app were two different things.)
We can get the WebHelp to launch through the Flex app, but parts of the skin are wrecked (i.e., buttons are missing) and the search is not working. I used a default skin supplied through RoboHelp. But at least it's opening on the default topic with a TOC.
I have spent two weeks trying to figure out how to launch help from a Flex app--I'm desperate. We've tried all kinds of things found in this forum. We even tried launching a Air help app from the Flex app with some code from another post but that didn't work, either.
(For this Flex app, our customer downloads it from our server and installs it locally on his computer. We wanted the help to launch from there, as though the files were stored in the Flex app.)
Have I read that correctly that your customer downloads the browser based AIR Help and installs it on their local PC?
If so it is as I have indicated earlier. browser based AIR Help will not run locally by default. You could try the procedure outlined on Rick Stone's site. It is intended to allow Flash to run locally and browser based AIR Help requires Flash.
Bear in mind, each of your users will need to follow the same steps.
When you say the search is not working when you use webhelp, is that all browers or some?
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
I changed the settings as indicated in that tutorial and the browser help launches successfully with FireFox now when I open the index file on my local computer. However, making the happen with the browser associated with the FlexApp doesn't seem possible. We're going to keep poking.
The webhelp search is broken when we call it through the FlexApp, using whatever browser is associated with that.