6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2007 12:11 PM by marjoriem

    Help that looks good

    jl2000 Level 1
      Hi -
      I'm evaluating HATs for a prospective project and after all the time I spent satisfying the customers wish list I thought I'd satisfy a question of my own - from a designer's outlook.

      The project is a huge form. I would like to integrate Help the way it's described and shown in
      Figure 3 in this article.

      Can this be done with RH - and still satisfy 508 compliant, totally Searchable including glossary, index, TOC, easy to author to and friendly to deploy?

      Are there any examples out there - finished or work in progress projects that would show me what people are doing with RH??

      Thanks in advance for any input on this tall order.


        • 1. Re: Help that looks good
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi JL.
          I've had a cursory look at the article you gave and from the examples they use there are certainly ways you can achieve the same results. You can use drop down or expanding text, popups, tooltips to mention just a few methods. All would allow you to have additional information available to users should they need it.
          • 2. Re: Help that looks good
            RoboColum(n) Level 5
            Me again. Apparently there are limitations in 508 compliant output that mean the use of things like drop downs can not be used. I apologise if I have confused you and I defer to those who know more about 508 compliance than me!
            • 3. Re: Help that looks good
              jl2000 Level 1
              Colum -

              That's what I thought - making the interface "fancy" usually means excluding some users. However - 508 compliance is a driving force in this development scheme so it must be considered. I really want to get away from the Help that's just another frame on the screen. The Help message should look like it's extending from the question...connected.

              I wonder if there are other features (glossary, index, searching) that exist but cannot be made 508 compliant with RH.??
              • 4. Re: Help that looks good
                RoboColum(n) Level 5
                I'm wondering if the way forward maybe to talk things through with your developers. If you could provide them with a set of HTML files (e.g. webhelp output from RH) could they code the fields in the form to display a required .HTM file is a desired way. It would require additional coding (e.g. Javascript) but it would allow for the type of interface you require.
                • 5. Re: Help that looks good
                  Linux Rules Level 2
                  Hello JL -

                  You should wait for RH7 as nothing you can do will make RHx5 (or 6) 100% Section 508 compliant. Have you really gone through the 508 requirements to determine what you truely need?

                  You indicated the project is a "huge form" which implies the use of JavaScripts and or Java (or other such programming tools) and perhaps frames...all of which would fail 508 (if held strict).

                  One thing about 508 - it has some flexibility built into it. That's why I asked.

                  • 6. Re: Help that looks good
                    marjoriem Level 1

                    I'm not a programmer, so I don't understand the intricasies of Java and JavaScript, but when you stated "you could provide them with a set of HTML files (e.g. webhelp output from RH)" and "they code the fields in the form to display a required .HTM file" in a desired way, I was immediately reminded of using Map IDs to link context-sensitive Help topics to the appopriate fields. My company has used Map IDs in this way with our client/server apps. We have not yet done this in our Web-based apps, even though I've been told that it can be done using JavaScript.