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You know, it just really baffles me how fickle folks can be. I guess I can only compare it to a person receiving the unwanted news that they have a possibly fatal illness. Just when they actually need the support of all their friends, they stop coming around. So the comment about "jumping ship" strikes me as odd. It seems that everyone feels that even if the product were being "sunset", it will suddenly crash and burn and take all your existing projects with it. This simply isn't true. The only thing that would make RoboHelp possibly stop working, is Windows Vista. And Vista won't be available for many months to come. And even if Vista breaks RoboHelp, it's quite unlikely that it will be widely adopted in a timely fashion. A major reason is the hardware horsepower it will take to run it. So I don't see it being immediately adopted. Heck, even if RoboHelp were rendered useless, the source files can easily be ported to other systems.
If you had asked this question as recently as two months ago, the answer would have been that indeed it does appear RoboHelp has been sunset. Macromedia acquired eHelp and promptly laid off the RoboHelp development staff. Seems surreal and strange that a company would do that in light of the popularity of RoboHelp, but hey, companies make some really bizarre decisions sometimes. Often (as in this case) it makes you question the sanity of those in charge.
The good news here is that Adobe apparently sees value left in the product. They have been indicating that they wish to develop it further.
So, if you must, believe all the Chicken Little's out there and run screaming as if the world were ending and jumping into unknown murky waters. For me, I've stuck by the product and fully intend to continue doing so. I should also mention that I train users on RoboHelp. If this aspect is any indication, there has been absolutely NO decline in demand for classes from what I see.
Hi, 'very new user' here...
Just to clarify then... geting started with RoboHelp now, it can be assumed (and yes, I appreciate where assumptions can lead you...) that if eHelp, (or an even newer 'next generation') becomes the norm, that there would be export/import capability?
Also,... in making a decision to set up a RoboHelp forum using a WebHelp format, what would be the challenges to later switch to the functionality of server-based WebHelpPro?
Is there documentation available that spells out the pros and cons of the different project formats available in robohelp?
Yes, in the RH Help. Select Single Source Layouts > Output Types > Output types available.
As to the challenges of WebHelpPro, they'll mostly be installing the Engine product on a server and establishing privileges (heavy involvement of your IT dept.)
Without me being a complete jerk in response here - and the temptation is there - If you don't know the answer - or if my question isn't clear (and every time i've posted to this site, that's the first thing i get in reply) - or if my question is true/false unanswerable, just say so. Don't patronize me. Don't foolishly generalize. And certainly don't imply that i'm some kind of monster. And I'd add don't use emoticons, too, but, I've decided to be lenient in my reply.
I will assume that there is no answer...no information that you can provide.
"The good news here is that Adobe apparently sees value left in the product. They have been indicating that they wish to develop it further."
So if someone locates a magic lamp and sends it to Adobe, RH will be developed futher? Excellent news, my friend, I shall take a vacation to Egypt post haste!
Could this be any less definitive? Aside from apparently seeing value left in the product (so, I don't know if they actually see value or not)...they "indicate that they wish" to develop it further. Is there a step before wishing for something? Is this company scuttlebutt? What are you talking about? Does Adobe have plans to update RH? Am I being foolish/naive in thinking that anyone on this board might have legit insight into what Adobe is thinking regarding RH?
"Seems surreal and strange that a company would do that in light of the popularity of RoboHelp, but hey, companies make some really bizarre decisions sometimes. Often (as in this case) it makes you question the sanity of those in charge."
So, I don't get it? What in this statement should make me trust/have any faith in this company? Yes, you emoticon'd it...but, what, that's a joke then? So Adobe is prone to making crazy decisions...any info after this point is suspect? Are they just paying lip service to RH to keep it profitable for as long as possible?
RH vs Windows Vista...isn't this a big possible issue? At the very least, why not say it's an issue for all Help Authoring Junk. Say it's a year away...that's a pretty short period of time in business...why would we put more money into a product for the next year (say another license) if we'd have to buy something else a year later (especially if there are choices available now). Are the Macro/Adobe teams going to support the product/update RH when/if Vista lands?
What other systems (what is "system" in your context) that RH could be ported to?
That you teach RH is meaningless (to this argument). You've already stated that "everyone" is unreliable. How is the everyone in your class any different? If they all jumped off a cliff, should I as well?
Also, at what point does the number of "chicken littles" equal an informed opinion? If there's one chicken little, fine, this whole discussion is phooey. But all of the chicken littles?
And your metaphor...dude, it doesn't make sense. So, I'm a monster for abandoning (or thinking about abandoning) my possibly fatally sick friend? The fatally ill friend needs a doctor to get better...and a sweet diagnostician because I, for one, would insist on knowing if it was terminal or not. A visit from all of RH's (we're secretly talking about RH, right) friends aren't going to cure cancer. And what if his sickness was self-induced...and he's an unbearably self-pitying terminal patient and doctors are just prolonging everyone's misery be keeping him alive? What then, Captiv8r? What then? And didn't his disciples abandon jesus? are you saying RH is jesus, Captiv8r? You've got some moxy, if you are.
How about this metaphor: Grandma RH has died. Dad is beside himself with grief and decides to have Grandma stuffed and placed in the kitchen. Although Grandma wasn't the cook she wanted to be because of her age and illness, that's what she most identified with. Are you, Captiv8r that guy? Are you trying to turn us into that guy? You're sick.
And will someone ever get wanted news about a possibly fatal illness?
Oh but wait, this is software, not a person...I'm not being fickle, I'm trying to make a prudent decision regarding where my company should spend its money. Is there a future for RH...is there one beyond the fact that yes, RH will still work even if Adobe is bought out and they never produce another piece of software? Who are the fickle "everyone" that you rip on? Who actually believed that program would stop running the moment RH stopped being supported or was/would be sunset? Don't muddy up your argument with lies. My old intellivision would still work/still play video games, does that mean there's no reason to jump to an improved system?
I've tested 5 other HATs...they all have issues. 2 of them choked during the RH conversion. 1 was a breeze but not really Word oriented. 1 I'd like to punch all involved with. And the 5th one that, if I have to make a non-RH-recommendation, I'll say we should go with. I'm not going to name names or advertise here. I'm under a tiny amount of pressure to make a decision. Staying put, for now, is easiest...but not completely satisfying, either. Some of the HATs had some nice features...stuff I'd like to see in a future release of RH....but I'd like those features sooner than later.
So now, my questions are, why is this such an ordeal? Can anyone say, with any certainty, whether RH is going to continue product development? Can I look "forward" to RH X6? Is there a timeframe where Adobe's plans will be announced?
This is such an ordeal because you are on a peer-to-peer user forum. The contributors on this forum are volunteers. Occasionally we hear from some Adobe people, but they are on the same level as the rest of us. Out of the goodness of our hearts, we try to help each other.
I understand that you are making a decision that could cost your company money down the road. For business input, why are you not asking the Adobe business? Search their site. Talk to their salespeople. Find out what they are promising to do for RoboHelp.
You are asking (and flaming) the wrong people.
Not affiliated with RoboHelp, Adobe, or anybody else, for that matter
"Without me being a complete jerk in response here..."
Sorry, bm2i, but you've failed miserably.
Your company would be well advised to assign someone else more suited to do this research and propose solutions. Please, don't bother responding any further. Your previous messages have been so toxic, they're even now being added to the Superfund list.
Captiv8or, I appreciate your sharing your candid perspective.
When you mention a potential issue with Vista, are you referring to the development platform, the platform where Help is deployed, or both?
From here on out I will only make completely serious RH-related posts (starting now). game faces, everyone. game faces.
so long as no one lectures me like i'm a child.
When I mentioned Vista, I simply meant to imply that it's anyone's guess as to whether Vista will make ANY application stop functioning. RoboHelp is not immune here. My gut tells me, however, that things will work fine. It's pretty unusual for an Operating System change to make applications totally stop functioning. At least, in my experience it is.
Looks like I struck a major nerve somewhere along the way. Sorry about that. Sorry you disdain emoticons too. I rather like them, as they seem to allow more of an opportunity to convey real feelings. But because you dislike them, I'll refrain from using them in this post. And please don't construe my reply to think I'm "lecturing you like a child".
Particularly, I'm confused about your statement that said:
If you don't know the answer - or if my question isn't clear (and every time i've posted to this site, that's the first thing i get in reply)
I researched this forum and you have (at this point in time) made exactly 9 posts spanning a total of three threads. One thread where no answer was ever offered. (not even a response saying your question was unclear) You then made a second post, where I did reply that your question was unclear. And if you read through the thread in its entiretly, you concluded yourself that you had an issue with the terminology you were using. So basically you admitted yourself your initial question wasn't clear, as you were using incorrect terms to try and articulate what you were trying to do. Your third thread is this one. So I'm not sure how you conclude that "every time you ask a question, the first thing you are hit with is that your question is unclear." I only see that this has happened once.
Sorry I have no definitive news to offer here as to RoboHelp's future. Only Adobe has the possiblity of knowing that. You posted a question in a user-to-user forum and received a user-to-user response. And it was the most honest response I knew how to give. However, I suppose I made the waters rough with my bewilderment related to many folks reactions. I simply tried to articulate that I've seen far too many posts where people are "jumping ship" to a different tool based on something they heard.
I'm not sure how you inferred that I think you are some sort of "monster" for considering shifting to a different authoring platform. Moving to a different platform is totally up to you and will be your decision. You asked the question. I tried to answer. My answer wasn't pointed specifically at you, but at what I see as the general attitude shared by many people. My point was that many users "Jumped Ship" to other help authoring tools when they heard that RoboHelp was possibly sunset. It was a knee jerk reaction that reminded me of the big toilet paper shortage back in the 70's. It stemmed from a joke. Someone made a comment on a TV show about their going to be a shortage. And sure enough, people purchased toilet paper by the droves and actually caused a shortage in the process.
The tenor of your note seems to imply you want a sparring match with me. I'm sorry, but I only try to help here. I see no value in sparring. However, you did make the following request:
if my question is true/false unanswerable, just say so. Don't patronize me. Don't foolishly generalize
Since I tried initially and failed, I'm just going to try another attempt and say this question is unanswerable. You are obviously wanting someone to conclusively state with authority that RoboHelp version (x) will definitely be made available on date (x). I'm not sure even Adobe is willing to make such a statement. Certainly nobody here can do that.
I did make a statement about Macromedia decisions that made me question their sanity. My statement was as honest as I could make it. It was not intended to instill confidence or shade your viewpoints in any way. It was simply an observation on my part. Maybe I failed to make that clear. The bottom line is that we now have an entirely different company at the helm. One that has given us all indication that they do realize the RoboHelp product has potential. To me, this seems much more sane than laying off all the development staff of the number 1 tool in the market.
As for my comment about RoboHelp and Vista, indeed you are correct and this is true of all help authoring systems. However, as this question was posed in a forum dedicated to supporting RoboHelp, I only considered RoboHelp in my answer. Had this been asked in a different venue, such as HATT or TECHWR-L, the answer would likely have been different. And believe it or not, you have no guarantee that any other HAT out there will even be in existence 6 months from now. So all of it is really a crap shoot when you boil it all down. The same holds true for other areas of life. Cars, Computers, Construction companies, Etc.
When I mention other systems, I simply meant to convey that if you are using RoboHelp HTML, you are dealing with a fundamental technology that many other products know how to deal with. It's not directly and inextricably related to RoboHelp. The content is easily ported into other systems. (FrontPage, DreamWeaver, HomeSite or other HATs)
LOL, I'm not sure how you you managed to wrangle in one of the great teachers here, or how it even factors into things. But if it makes sense to you, I guess that's all that matters. No, I'm not comparing RoboHelp to Jesus, Buddha, Ghandi, Mohammed or any of the other enlightened individuals that have graced this earth with their wisdom.
You asked: Who actually believed that program would stop running the moment RH stopped being supported or was/would be sunset? My comments were based on reactions I publicly witnessed in the lists that were all over the board when Joe Welinske publicly stated he believed RoboHelp was being sunset. If you have been into technical writing for any length of time and have monitored any of these lists, you should know by now that there was a HUGE reaction. People claiming left and right that if RoboHelp was being sunset, they had to switch. And the sooner the better, so they wouldn't be "left in the dust". Indeed, it WAS the "chicken little" mentality. Again, I'm stressing that my comments weren't aimed at you particularly, but at the whole "jump ship" mentality folks seem to share.
Sincerely... Rick (smiley emoticon suppressed in an effort to be friendly)
Such patience, Rick. ...and then there's....
"From here on out I will only make completely serious RH-related posts (starting now). game faces, everyone. game faces. "
ohhhhkay.... Talk about the kettle calling the pot black!
What hurts me the most is that my clearly obvious greatness is completely ignored.
"Since I tried initially and failed, I'm just going to try another attempt and say this question is unanswerable. You are obviously wanting someone to conclusively state with authority that RoboHelp version (x) will definitely be made available on date (x). I'm not sure even Adobe is willing to make such a statement. Certainly nobody here can do that."
Was this so hard? Was it? That's all I wanted.
Let me sum up my argument in a more reader friendly/less crazy way:
1. 8rs metaphor doesn't work. (i didn't sit through all of those english crits to not get some use out of those "skills").
2. his metaphor does imply that i am a monster (and if that wasn't intended that's his own fault - if i have to give him the benefit of the doubt "that he didn't intend that", why shouldn't i expect the same from others?) this is rhetoric 101...it's a syllogism...If people abandoning a sick friend = monster and I = a person abandoning a sick friend....I = monster). and let's not quibble about 8r not saying that i'm that person...it's a function of including it in his reply. it's a fear tactic type of argument. (i take no personal offense to being equated with a monster, by the way).
3. he does lie and exaggerate and generalize about everyone thinking robohelp was going to stop working...the purpose being to show how stupid people are. No one thought/thinks RH is going to stop working. No one. So what's the point of this point? if you didn't intend to call people stupid (imply people are stupid), you shouldn't have said it.
4. he makes disparaging comments about chicken littles (since that is by nature a loosely derogatory term/concept) and he uses the same fear tactic logic that he uses in his metaphor (if chicken littles are stupid and i lean towards being a chicken little, i am in danger of being stupid).
does this have me even slightly bent out of shape? how could it? (oh i know, i know, i'm sure anyone that's weighed in has already built up an image of me that can't possibly include this...for most, i imagine that this resembles a "face saving" gesture"...but...well...c'mon...i accuse someone of equating RH to JC...how is that taken seriously? and i don't need anyone to reply back with "it's sometimes difficult to discern what someone's intentions are...blah blah blah..." I know, I know. But you guys should really think ... if i'm supposed to take someone on good faith, why am i not accorded the same priviledge?
(first argument i'm sure that comes to mind is but 8r is a beloved member of Team Mac!...you're just some dude that eats babies! True. but free passes make people lazy).
individual replies to each post regarding me (because i am the sun and everything revolves around me)
mergethis: that's not a good dig. i like your instincts but it sounds more like a leno monologue. work on your attacks. it could also be construed that yes, i'm not fit for this peon work, i'm meant for better things. i guess it all depends on the spin. it could also too seem harsh, went personal, and amusingly, no one bothered to point this out.
modernegal: ignore the elephant in the room is probably the best tactic. but i guess i shouldn't mention this one because it's not about me. i just wanted to use that elephant phrase though.
bm2i: this one was lame. how does no one jump on that...robo8r kind of touches on it but instead goes harder on a pro-emoticon rant.
jdaigle: haven't followed the link, but, if true...that's pretty sweet. i love/hate rh. i don't want the pain of learning/transferring to a new program
are RoboWizard and Captiv8r the same person? is there an emoticon that shows me rubbing my eyes in disbelief? Robo8r. i think my reply above addresses you i guess? i don't know. Does it matter at this poin? (maybe, maybe not...in any event, if i see you in public, we're wrestling. that's all there is to it).
RogerN...."what patience" what would you have replied? i think (this is an "i" statement...so take it for whatever that's worth) that on the one hand, i understand that you will rush to his defense...on the other hand...it shows your bias and inability (or perhaps you just didn't want to) be fair...with the reasons i've stated above. you appear to only focus on my reply, not the reason for my reply and do you even bother to consider any validity in it? should you? i don't know.
everyone can now get their last shots in (no, i'm not playing martyr).
and yes, i'm joking about wrestling Robo8r. I'm threatening cartoon violence, not real violence.
Hello again Brian
Your post just leaves me baffled. I'm not even going to try replying to most of what you posted. I'm hoping we can all take a chill pill and settle a bit. Geez, I made some general statements and it's like I started WWIII from a forum perspective. That certainly was never my intent.
However, you did ask if Captiv8r and RoboWizard are both the same person. Indeed they are. They are both me. Here's why. I participate in the Captivate forums as well as the RoboHelp forums. I've learned the hard way (through trial and error) that one can only have forum activity E-Mailed to a single E-Mail address. When I became involved with Captivate, I subscribed to that forum and noticed that suddenly my RoboHelp posts stopped being E-Mailed. So I created a new E-Mail address and subscribed to each using different addresses. So having said that, I frequently bounce between the forums and when I post, however I happen to be logged in at the time is what gets attached to my forum handle.
May I make a simple suggestion? If you look at each person's forum handle, you will also find a post count for that handle. At the moment, you will see the Captiv8r handle has 2,174 posts and the RoboWizard handle has 2,612 for a combined post count of 4,786. As I type this, your post count is currently 10. Now I know this runs the very real risk of your managing to construe this as me belittling you or calling you stupid. I'm NOT okay? All I'm trying to point out here is that if all I do is look at the numbers, I can only conclude that you probably haven't been here long. I do notice that you joined 2/8/2005, so you have been aware of the forums for slightly over a year, but probably haven't visited all that much. As a result, you probably don't know much about me or the way I operate. But I really am only concerned with trying to help folks and offer insights where I'm able.
I hope you have a better day today... Rick
Over the years of reading this forum, I have been able to resolve every one of the small issues I've had with RoboHELP and have received invaluable help from Captiv8r/RoboWizard and the many other dedicated Robohelpers who trawl these threads.
I can also say that over the years, I've never seen a thread degenerate as this one has. I dread the day that Captiv8r/RoboWizard stops helping people who post genuine questions on the forum and suggest that some people just need to grow up.
To the serious RoboHelpers - Keep up the great work - it's appreciated by most and that's the main thing!
I'll second that Kathy. Also I think we should take out life insurance on Captiv8r/RoboWizard as we'll all be in trouble without him.
Like many contributors to this forum, I use Robohelp practically every single day of the year. It's a great product and there is a great core of professionals who freely share their knowledge and experience daily via this forum. Right from the eHelp days, this community has been a lifeline to me and many other Robohelp users. You seem intent on attacking the product and the contributors frivolously
I'd like to have a go at answering your questions:
Re: Can anyone say, with any certainty, whether RH is going to continue product development?
Re: So now, my questions are, why is this such an ordeal?
The reason for the ordeal is that the product line has moved between two companies over the last two years. Robohelp still thrives, and if you asked me whether Adobe take the future development of Robohelp seriously, then Yes. Check out the link http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/webforums/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=447&threadid=11419 95&enterthread=y and you contribute a wish list via the link on the thread.
What a great opportunity! People who do not contribute their 'valuable thoughts and suggestions for future features' can't complain if they do not appear in the next release.
Re: Is there a timeframe where Adobe's plans will be announced?
Answer: No, not yet.
From your responses to other posters, my guess is that you are looking for certainty. Sorry, there isn't any yet. But the future is definitely looking brighter and I'm very comfortable using the product for the foreseeable future.
craig, my intent was to attack an answer (which i've done twice now, but no one cares to comment on that), not a person, nor the product (which i've also used every day for the last, i think, 2 years) or any other contributors (and let's face it, if someone jumps on me, and i believe i'm justified, shouldn't i fight back?).
Robo8rs reply was crap. Robo8r isn't crap. Sure, i called him sick (but making a point about metaphors...and clearly in a joking way).
Yes, we can all agree now that there is no certainty to any of the answers to my question (except for that new release in the first quarter of 07 thing). In his rush to be helpful his answer was lazy/sloppy/condescending. I've seen enough "i didn't intend tos" on this board that it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
He made value judgements about people that he doesn't know. He made fun of people (the people who are questioning their commitment to a piece of *******' software). Was it all in good fun? It didn't seem like it. His answer as a member of Team Mac / ACE should hold him to a higher standing, shouldn't it, rather than give him a free pass? His reply was dismissive and mean. Why make fun of others to make a point?
Everyone seems to acknowledge that the future of RH is a question. There appears to be a consensus that this uncertainty is or has caused concern. Mocking people who are concerned about a product however unintentionally and then falling back on "but i didn't mean it" is lazy and more irritating to me than the insult itself. Is being concerned about something a reason to make fun of someone?
I'm concerned about gas costs, nuking Iran, and zombies...should I be made fun of because of it (maybe the zombie part, but i'd just as soon remain vigilant against them).
I didn't intend to antagonise you, sorry. It seems that you have the answer to all your questions for now.
May I suggest that these personal attacks discontinue. Sure that most people are finding them offensive by now and not at all amusing. I notice that your signature does not identify yourself or the company that you represent. When posting to a forum, it's good practice to think how your work collegues would feel if they read your posts.
"I didn't intend to antagonise you, sorry. It seems that you have the answer to all your questions for now. "
I am not antagonized. My initial question was answered. More concerns were raised and glossed over/ignored. I don't think i can be any more explicit than I was in my last post. Now, I'm just amazed. Every response I get makes me actually feels stronger about my case.
"May I suggest that these personal attacks discontinue. Sure that most people are starting to finding them a little offensive by now and not at all amusing."
Personal attacks are at the heart of the issue. As for people finding them offensive? This one's a toughie...everyone loves a train wreck. Did I make any personal attacks in my last post? NO. Did you make any personal attacks in the post I was responding to? NO.
"I notice that your signature does not identify yourself or the company that you represent. When posting to a forum, it's good to think how your work collegues would feel if they read your posts."
Am I required to put a profile in? Than this is not a legit issue. I am well aware of perception/how people are perceived.
I am this way all the time, my colleagues are well aware of my personality.
I am dropping it (OCD-willing).
LOL, the zombie bit cracked me up.
Magic lamps, Jesus, and zombies...Oh, My!
Greetings fellow RoboHelpers,
I have read in the WinHelp section of this forum that Windows Vista will not support WinHelp applications. So if you use the "RoboHelp for Word" version of RoboHelp, you'd best start switching over to HTML.
I am sure that the HTML version of RoboHelp will have continued use for years to come.
Indeed you heard correctly. Much to the dismay of many individuals, WinHelp will die from the Vista standpoint. However, I would like to point out that some were confused by the wording of what Microsoft used. Some folks understood it to say that compiled .CHM files would be treated in the same fashion and everyone would be expected to shift to Vista help. And the Vista help standard for end users and help developers is still being refined.
Rest assured that compiled .CHMs will indeed work with Vista.
You say "So if you use the "RoboHelp for Word" version of RoboHelp, you'd best start switching over to HTML" in a way that suggests you mean switching to RH HTML. RoboHelp for Word can be used to produce CHMs and webhelp which wouldn't be my choice of how to do it but it does suit many users.
There is development on a new version of RoboHelp, What will be in it, and when it will be out, Can't answer that. But Adobe has hired staff for this product.
Just wondering if there's any update regarding Adobe's plans ...
>The reason for the ordeal is that the product line has moved between two companies over the last two years.
From what I understand, the main problem is that the complete RoboHelp development team has been fired. Building up a new team will cost time and money, and Adobe is doing a lot of analysis before such investments. For example, weather the Windows Vista help can be intergrated at all. No need for a new version without that. Small solution (new singe source layout) or large solution (new platform RoboHelpXML besides the old RoboHelpHTML)?
Personally I think that Adobe will announce in June and not much later either a new version or the end of the line.