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I'll be happy to add what I know and hopefully others will also chime in.
1. Is it possible for me to generate my project as Flash Help ? What are the assets and flaws of WebHelp vs. Flash Help?
This is really a two part question. So I'll try to answer in two parts.
Part 1. 1. Is it possible for me to generate my project as Flash Help ?
Absolutely! Really, this is one of the beautiful features of RoboHelp HTML and the Single Source Layouts. You can typically generate any output at any time.
Part 2. What are the assets and flaws of WebHelp vs. Flash Help?
* Flash Player is pretty much universal, giving your projects a consistent interface regardless of the operating system used
* More modern interface
* Currently not able to create merged output like WebHelp can
* Can't easily edit skins
* Fewer skins available
* If deploying by running on the local PC, if Flash Player 8 is installed, you must tweak security settings to enable
* You can merge WebHelp systems
* You can easily edit skins
* Content is easily viewable on almost any browser used
* If deploying by running on the local PC, if Windows XP SP2 is installed, you must tweak security settings to enable
* Interface may look and behave slightly different when viewed on different platforms.
3. Is there a way to automatically generate the release version of the online help without having to go through the RH interface (i.e: through a command line ran on the VSS / Perforce server)?
Sorry, no way to easily automate this. However, some folks claim to be able to achieve a certain amount of automation by using an additional application such as Macro Express http://www.Macros.com
Hopefully some of this was helpful. Also hope others offer other insights into the WebHelp/FlashHelp comparison that didn't immediately come to mind. (I'm still working on that first cuppa...)
Blimey, your really quick at answering queries!! How many hands do you have for each one of your five keyboards??!!
Thanks for the overview on the Web / Flash Help pros and cons, much clearer than I would have thought!
Concerning question 3, I'll have a look at Macro Express but frankly I really don't think it's that essential as I'm the only one in the company who'll be authoring... Therefore, I won't be updating the RH project every other day and running the RH interface to generate a layout is rather quite fast.
Any ideas concerning question 2 (multi-language project management)?
Thanks again for your help and have a nice weekend!!
Hi Paul. I can't answer question 2 or add to Rick's answers. All I'd say is that Macro Express is much more than an app for authoring. It is one of those killer apps which you wonder what you'd do without and all for a very few bucks. I started using it purely within RH and now use it for many other things. Do check it out.
I actually have one other question (and that means more work!!):
I need to link specific buttons from my web-based application to specific topics of my RH project.
I have not created this RH project as a context-sensitive online help.
What would you do?
I can only imagine two solutions:
1. I just link the buttons to the appropriate .html topics.
2. I decide to implement the context-sensitive function in my RH project.
What would be the pros and cons of these two solutions?
I suspect what option you choose will depend on how many buttons need linking and the number of topics. CSH is ideal for large numbers of help links but is complex to maintain and requires communication between the TA and the developers. Linking buttons to a help topic is easier if you're dealing with a small number of links.
Thanks for your reply, Colum.
I guess I'll have to let R&D decide on that one depending on the amount of future functions of the application.
Have a nice weekend!
Hi Newbie 8,
regarding the issue of linking to buttons. You may want to check out a product called linkit. Used this many moons ago and it may be just what you are after. Check out the site http://www.affixion.com/. You do need to provide each end user with a small runtime file to allow them to use the application, but it is definitely worth checking out.
Thanks Craig for the linkit url... will try it out but I have a feeling this application may not work correctly with the application developped in my company because the latter is a web-based application and not a Windows application.
Will download the trial to test it anyway!
Just FYI. I used linkit to link topics between a web-based application and a RH webhelp project. Very easy to use!